Rolling in Terracotta works near Udaipur City
Maru Potters – Kumhars have been engaged in the age old tradition of terracotta designs for years. Terracotta work tradition is 1500 to 1700 yrs old. The tradition is associated with creation of figurines for local deities – Dev Narayana Ji, Dharamraj Ji, etc. A lot of temples in Southern Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh replace their deity figurines regularly and that is when they visit Molela, near Udaipur city to purchase a new figurine. This tradition almost equivalent of a huge celebration is followed mostly by the tribes of these regions. Traditional terracotta designs with detailed mythological stories – Ramayan, Mahabharta, etc, are materpiece works by these potters.
There is something very peculiar about this art form, they are all hollow. This helps in creating light weight art pieces, prevent cracks in the forms and also uses less clay which is a scarce raw material in any case these days with most of it getting consumed in brick kilns.
To make the final frame, small parts are composed which are then pasted onto the main frame.Small portions of a composition are made from clay and dung mix using wooden and iron tools.The small compositions are then pasted onto the main frame.After drying it for 6-7 days, it is kept in sun for 2-3 days and then loaded in a furnace in standing position for 4-5 hours to heat at temperatures of around 600-700 degree.Most of the work is carried out in winters since they are conducive to proper drying of works helping in minimal cracks. Summers lead to cracks in bigger pieces of art work. In order to color the art pieces, natural/ artificial colors are used.
Here are some of the clicks of art form and the village around.
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