Rice is the main crop of Asia that has a very long history. It is the most widely consumed healthy food source. It has the greatest significance in different cultures. Throughout Asia it is considered as the symbol of prosperity and wealth. Rice has always held the highest position and respect as being the daily staple food source. It is used in many rituals and it has also become a medium of art in India and Turkey. It is mentioned that Topkapi Palace in Istanbul takes away the name of having the oldest decorated rice grain. Coming to the tradition of floor art, rice powder is used to draw rangoli on the floor in front of the house and in Pooja room as the symbol of fertility and good fortune. Using rice grain the creation of art has become a fashion now a days. Writing the name on a single rice grain is one among the beautiful arts.
Using rice grain there are various innovative arts that are rising all over the world. It has become one of the major decorative and interesting art now a days. Some people have taken up their profession in the making of rice grain decorations for their livelihood. There are modern ways of decorating the grain these days. Some of the examples are: portraits made by using rice grain which demands lots of concentration and dedication. And the other creation is the rice grain paintings that are done using unique techniques by doing research and developed in Vietnam. Rice painting is also done in India by using husked rice that is dyed and dried which is later glued on canvas or paper. Where as in countries like Vietnam, grains are roasted to generate natural colors and then they are carefully placed jointly on a canvas to prepare collage. Later these rice paintings are treated / sprayed with varnish or chemical substances to prevent from termite infestation and also to preserve the color.
The other new innovation of rice grain in India is rice jewelry. The art making rice jewelry like earrings and decorating the hairclips are developed by an artisan, named Vidya from Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. She is basically an art teacher at a school in Vellore. As a hobby she initiated to do stuff dolls and doll making became her part-time business at Kollimalai. Later glass painting was also added to her hobby. During the year 2005 her desire to come up with a new innovative art, paved way for her to develop the creation of rice jewelries. Initially she tried making this jewelry using paper strips but due to some inconvenience caused while maintaining the paper jewelry, the artisan took the initiative to try out with rice grains. As it turned out to be the prettiest jewelry with raw rice, she tried the same technique and designed much more unique designs by using many other pulses like paddy, wheat, elaichi, daal, etc. Being an art teacher at school, her students and colleagues were also fascinated by her art and demanded for it. By this, the sale of rice jewelry begun.
Except the grains of rice, rest all the stationary materials like fabric glue, fabric paints, paint brush are bought from Chennai. Making of this rice grain jewelry takes 5-10 minutes per earring. These earrings are colored in fabric paints and sometimes in oil paints as well to bring in the glossy effect and to match the wearer’s attire. This creation is carried out since ten years and as the years passed by, the demand for this unique jewelry is getting high.