What is Terracotta art ?
Do you know Terracotta art means ‘baked earth’ and do you know it’s an Italian word? What makes Terracotta even more special is it is considered as man’s first ways of getting creative. Creating structures out of these clay forms is what Terracotta is all about. Terracotta has been used to make construction and decorative arts in many countries.
Everything from Terracotta pots to containers and plants were used by people from many years. Almost every Indian household has at least one Terracotta product and that’s also because they are not as expensive as other material and because they simply have an unmatchable appeal.
A little history
Historical evidences from Harappa and Mohenjo daro of the Indus Valley Civilisation suggest that this art basically flourished in India. It was also used to cater to the needs of the people.
So, this was both a decorative art and was a utility product. People used these products because they were cheaper and more convenient than metal products. These products were used in the architecture of old monuments as tiles , bricks and blocks were ideal for buildings.
What are the different Terracotta products?
The different Terracotta products made from this art form are toys, pots, lamps, cases and other decorative items. The pots were the one which were the most popular as they looked good and were also used to store food and other essentials.
The Bankura house remains the most popular Terracotta product in India because of its association with many village rituals and it really adds a finish to the living or drawing rooms . Terracotta products also look great when the plants are put in these Terracotta pots or the bigger version of these pots are again used as decorative items in the garden itself which again add to the royal feel.
How are the Terracotta products made?
The clay is first dried and then is molded into different shapes using a pottery wheel. It is then allowed to dry for some time and it is fired . Many products like kitchen utensils, vases, statues and other decorative pieces are made.
The beauty of these products
One cannot deny the beauty of these products because of its natural charm and ethnic beauty. One can find many products made of Terracotta and these products are candle stands, wall hangings, jewellery, idols, home decoration items, jewellery boxes and other different types of handicrafts.
Terracotta in India
In India, different states are famous for making different terracotta products.In Gujarat, clay pots are made and are pretty famous. Whereas, Tamil Nadu is really good in making pots of animals like horses and elephants. Terracotta in West Bengal is associated with the making of Bankura house .
Terracotta besides being beautiful products actually adds to the traditional beauty and is a business that comes from rural India. With urbanization , we sometimes forget to appreciate the beauty of these age-old products.
Did you know ?
These products that are used especially at the time of the Karthigai deepam are not that popular nowadays compared to fifteen years back. Even during times of Deepavali , the sales for the lamps are not as much as expected and mostly the sales are good only during Karthikai.