Gurruppa Chetty is a master kalamkari painter from the state of Andhra
Pradesh. He has won the National Award of India for the excellence of his work.
The word kalamkari is derived from the word kalam which means pen, the tool used
in this craft. The painter prepares his own pens by sharpening a bamboo stick
and tying a piece of thick cloth around it. The entire
pen is dipped in the dye and the flow of dye is regulated by pressing
on the cloth, which acts as a reservoir.
The kalamkari is a cloth handpainted with vegetable dyes. Only four basic
colors are used: black, red, yellow and blue. In the Hindu tradition, kalamkari
depict great epic narratives such as the Mahabarata and the Ramayana, as well as
representations of various divinities. These richly-designed cloths are used as
wall-hangings to decorate temples and homes.