Crafts Bazaar beckons visitors: Clay and terracotta Ganesha idols in great demand

Mysuru:  There is less than a week to go for Ganesha Chaturthi celebrations, and in an indication of growing concern among citizens for the environment, business at stalls set up at the JSS Mysore Urban Haat selling eco-friendly idols of the elephant-headed God appeared to be brisk.

The ban on Plaster of Paris (PoP) idols, coupled with a slew of initiatives undertaken by the government highlighting the benefits of eco-friendly idols, appears to be yielding desirable results. Besides idols made of clay, the other substance that customers appeared to prefer was terracotta.

Mandya terracotta artisan Nagaraju, participating in the ongoing Crafts Bazaar organised by the Union Ministry of Textiles in association with JSS Urban Haat, said that he had registered very good business at the event.

“The demand for terracotta idols has steadily increased over the past few years, following the ban on PoP idols. Now people are switching to clay and terracotta idols,” Nagaraju said.

Explaining the artistic and sustainable benefits of terracotta, Nagaraju said, “Terracotta is a clay-based product, which has been a major ingredient in sculptures since ancient times. Terracotta is manufactured by inserting clay into a mould in a specific shape, and then burning it, which results in the clay attaining the shape of the structure.”

Delighted with the demand for terracotta idols, he added, “The price of these idols ranges from Rs. 80 to Rs. 400, based on size and design. Some of the smallest idols are just two inches in height.”

In keeping with the spirit of the season, T. Sekar, a deaf textile artisan, and his sister Pushparani, have managed to bring Ganesha to life in various shapes, and positions, on the saris that the duo has designed.

Meanwhile, Nanda Dole quit her job at a Co-operative Bank when she was due to deliver her second child, but was reluctant to return to her job in the financial world. Once she learnt how to work magic with ‘waste’ substances on fabric, besides bringing out intricately wrought jewellery, she has managed to design necklaces, earrings and other ornamental jewellery.

Modern Aplic, designed by Suresh Kumar Patnaik, was also a big draw at the Crafts Bazaar. The expo-cum-sale will be open from 10 am to 9 pm till Sept. 9, according to M. Shivananjaswamy, Project Officer, JSS Mysore Urban Haat, Ring Road, Hebbal  Industrial Area, Mysuru.