A cluster is defined as a geographic concentration(a city/town/few adjacent villages and their adjoining areas)of units producing near similar products and facing common opportunities and threats.An artisan cluster is defined as geographically concentrated (mostly in villages/townships)household units producing handicraft/handloom products.In a typical cluster, such producers often belong to a traditional community, producing the long-established products for generations.Indeed, many artisan clusters are centuries old Artisan.About Kirhiya Khojwa Cluster:-Kirhiya Khojwa Cluster falls under Uttar Pradesh State in Varanasi district.The Kirhiya Khojwa cluster is able to form 150 plus Artisans & 10 SHGs supporting the strong work force.The mobilisation gains momentum day by day.
The stone crafts of Uttar Pradesh have shown their creative excellence through intricate architectural masterpieces. These are perfectly chiseled and are decorated with inlay work. Stone carving on sandstone carry the rich cultural heritage of royal fascination and the variety that had been explored by the artisans. These outstanding stone crafts are visible in the intricate curving on the forts and palaces. The statues of religious gods and goddesses with excellent carving, brilliantly created articles of inlay work, stone carvings with embedded inexpensive shells or semi precious stones are some of the well known stone crafts that are admired in all around the countries. Varanasi is the place where the great examples of stone craft have been seen. Sonia and Kalimohal areas of Varanasi, and Gokulpura in Agra are the places to where the instances of excellent artistry of stone craft are to be found. Most people of the areas, mainly the artisans of these areas, earn their livelihood by creating outstanding artifacts with stones. The stone craft of Uttar Pradesh include marble boxes, wall plates, table tops, coasters, and ashtrays inlaid with semi-precious stones and mother of pearl in pleasing pietra dura designs that is derived from the Mughal monuments and paintings. Even the Gurara stone carvings, paperweights, and Rubic cube like candleholders, which take four different sizes, are considered as the intricate craftsmanship of the artisans of Uttar Pradesh. Apart from creating different articles that catch the fancy of the local people and the tourists as well, the artisans create exclusive items that are placed in the trendy house to suit the decorative purpose.
The base material of stone craft in Uttar Pradesh is marble, gorara soapstone and occasionally cuddapah. The artisans of Agra sometimes use country made machines for cutting, grinding, buffing and polishing of stone. In some places the craftsmen still use chisel and hammer to bring out curved patterns and designs followed by grinding and polishing.
The crafts person while working on the sajjar pathar first studies the natural design contains in the stone selected to work upon. The shaping is done thereafter very carefully with chisel and hammers. Water is sprinkled repeatedly to avoid heat generation. The stone is smoothened by rubbing with sand papers or file.Dimensions of the figure to be manufactured are marked on a stone slab. Extra edges are removed from the slab by beating with a hammer. Big pieces of stone are cut vertically into smaller slabs, and rough sketches are made on it. The article is taken out from the slab with the aid of a saw. This slab is now converted in the form of the desired figure with a hammer and a chisel. Minor carvings are done by pointed chisel. A hammer and chisel do further smoothening. Before carving the stone is kept in boiling water overnight and treated chemically. This smoothens and whitens the surface of the stone. Polishing is done for the final finishing with sand or carborundum pieces. Several of the carved artifacts are painted. Others are fitted with the looking glasses, brass fittings etc.In carving an image, the stone carver sketches a rough outline of the sculpture on the stone - block. The craftsmen, sprinkle water on the stone during the course of their work because of the friction generated due to the constant chiseling away of the unwanted material results in the tools heating up. Finishing is accomplished in a variety of ways from sand-papering, polishing with multani-mitti or clay, oil and cloth.An outline is drawn on hard or soft stone which is already cut to the appropriate size. Once the outline is incised indicating the shape, the final figure is brought out by removing the unwanted portions. While for the harder stones this is done by chiseling out the extra material, with softer stones. This is done by scraping out the same with a sharp flat-edged iron tool.Techniques:-
The main techniques are following below:-
1. Cutting2. Grinding3. Buffing 4. Polishing
How to reach:-
The nearest airport is Babatpur, 22 km from Varanasi and 30 Km from Sarnath. Direct flights for Varanasi are available from Delhi, Agra, Khajurao, Calcutta, Mumbai, Lucknow and Bhuvaneshwar airports.Varanasi and Mughal Sarai (one of the main railway stations of Varanasi) are the important rail junctions, with train connections to all major cities of India.Varanasi, on NH 2 from Calcutta to Delhi, NHZ to Kanya Kumari and NH 29 to Gorakhpur is well connected to the rest of the country by good motorable roads. some of the major road distances are : Agra - 565 km, Allahabad - 128 km, Bhopal - 791 km, Bodhgaya - 240 km, Kanpur - 330 km, Khajuraho - 405 km, Lucknow - 286, Patna - 246 km, Sarnath - 10 Km.