Home Blogs > Meet the Makers
Sep 6 '20 | By Shilpkaari | Views: 1939 | Comments: 0
The Amazing and Attractive Terracotta Art

Terracotta Art- The Reflection of Early Indian Art

Artist-Akash Pandit, Bishnupur.

Terracotta is a type of earthenware which a clay based unglazed or glazed ceramic where the fired body is porous. Terracotta is the term normally used for sculpture made in earthenware and also for various practical uses including vessels, waste water pipe, roofing tiles bricks and surface embellishment in building constructions. It is referred to the natural brown orange color of most Terracotta which varies considerably.Terracotta
art is the integral part of Indian culture and heritage

Lets meet our famous skilled clay Terracotta artist Akash Pandit from Bishnupur in Bankura district of West Bengal. He is working with clay Terracotta, bamboo craft, coconut shell and wooden craft but his occupation is mainly connected with Terracotta art work with clay. He has been continuing this family business which was started by his great grandfather and this artwork is only source of income for his family livelihood.The place is actually a site of Indian heritage where there is an ancient Terracotta temple in Bishnupur town which is one of the famous ancient temple of India. The temple is designed fully with Terracotta art work which is very attractive for tourist and based on its different art and design, he and his family develops Terracotta products made of clay especially clay conch. “Clay conch has high demand in my shop and I provide different patterns and designed conch with perfect skill impression on it.” Akash says. Different variety of Terracotta tiles, beautiful toys, dolls, lamps and other clay products are available in his shop

His shop is located nearby the temple where large number of visitors are attracted toward the creative artifacts of different Terracotta art, bamboo, wood and coconut shell products. The carved designing of wall tiles is also been flourishing now a days and he also get deal for wall Terracotta at different places. The raw material is mainly clay which is ordered from the Kolkata. The products to be prepared may takes enough time minimum 5 days to 7 days depending upon weather conditions since it requires dry season to dry the shape. The product is designed into final shape until the required thinness and sizes are achieved and then the object is allowed to dry in sun for 2 to 3 days. The object is not dried for a longer period as it become very tough and excess drying is avoided by cover cloth. The firing is done in bhatti-traditional open furnace article are piled carefully and covered locally available fuel such as dry coconut leaves, small wooden pieces etc. The kiln is covered with mud and fired to produce high temperature. The objects after firing turn into different color may be red or black and some cracked off. “I can say out of 10 products 3 - 4 are wasted in each time.

After testing, grading and sorting the products may be coloured and packed for sale. His whole family members are sharing their handwork in his business. No labours are required except for wall tiles. Whole products are carved with their own hand and need no machineries. This hard work are still present as same as in early and they never tried to mechanized the business system. This shows his concern to the ancient culture of India which should be preserved for the ancient reflection of Indian art. Machinery are confined to some works of wooden and bamboo craft making. The beautiful shape of dolls, horse, lamp box etc. are prepared with the help of small machines. “ For the wall tiles Terracotta I got many offers from different cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Shantiniketan, Durgapur etc., and I must say some people also wants to promote the ancient artworks and I feel proud when Indians are still having theirs interest in the ancient craft works”

What’s more the art form has not been lost as many others have; rather it is flourishing and getting richer even now with artisans uninhibited in their imagination and creativity. Though the art of creating glazed pottery has been in existence for thousands of years in India, the unglazed pottery items are the ones that the India are renowned for. Terracotta items are commonplace in Indian homes in one form or other and artisans have kept alive from one generation to other.

Regarding the exhibitions and fairs in different part of India, he said “The stalls are opened for exhibition in the name of DIP(Directorate of Information and Publicity) officer who offer me to sell the products without any charges of stall. Whenever DIP officer inform me, I participate actively. The DIP stall is the only government support since it provide free stall while ordinary stall take much charges.”

Regarding the pandemic strike of Corona,he faced huge loss since the shop has been shutted down, no tourist or visitors are there, no order from customers. “I wish after the end of pandemic our lives would be back again to normal this culture is only source of livelihood. I just want that the government support toward artisans should not be vanished rather government should preserve this art and for this conservation the artisans should get enough support for earning livelihood as well. The customers are gods to us and must understand the deep hardworking and its importance.


No comments

or Sign-Up to comment