By V. Shourabh
With the onus of protecting Mother Earth and going green, a lot of awareness has been created among Mysureans and they have now switched to eco-friendly idols that are devoid of Plater of Paris (PoP) and any sort of chemicals.
It is an icing on the cake if it is a Green Ganesha and you have an opportunity of making your idols. There is always an immense sense of joy, element of curiosity, creativity and fun behind making your own idol.
The Hobby Place at Yadavagiri, a creative space (art school) to pursue your hobby, has started a workshop wherein people can walk-in and learn how to make their own Gowri-Ganesha idols. They have skilled artists and tools which help people, especially children to make their own idols. Even families can walk-in and learn the making of Ganesha and carry their created Ganesha back home.
Speaking to Star of Mysore, Savita Shenoy, Founder, The Hobby Place, says, “We are conducting this Ganesha idol-making workshop since six years. Every year, families and friends come here to make their own Ganesha idols. This is to infuse tradition of the festival and to enjoy the process of making the idol with your loved ones and learn sculpting your own eco-friendly idols with or without the help of moulds and our artists. Here we use natural clay and hence our focus is to promote eco-friendly idols. A lot of children take part.”
Preparing your own idol kindles a sense of happiness and satisfaction as one creatively puts in efforts to design his or her idols. Children love to make their own Ganeshas and through this workshop a new sense of fun and joy is generated.
Savita adds, “In a ready-made idol, there is not much fun. But here, we all enjoy the process of making Ganesha and Gowri. Participants love giving shape to clay and carry back the idol for worship in their homes. We teach them to make big and small idols, seed Ganesha idol, etc. Bigger idols are generally done in moulds and the other descriptive features are then shaped on them.”
It generally takes about 2 hours for people to make their own big idol with the help of artists and it takes about an hour to make a small Ganesha. Seed Ganesha is a mould which has a seed placed inside it and it is kept in the pot. This pot is watered daily and after a few days, it turns into a beautiful bean plant or a marigold plant. “We use a little bit of paint in the end to decorate the eyes and describe features. All the idols are prepared according to culture and in consultation with priests,” she adds.
Festivals are meant to be celebrated with friends and families together and especially in modern times of nuclear families where there is less connect or bond within families. In such a scenario, such workshops bring families and friends together and creates fond memories. This workshop started about a week ago and will be open till Sept. 1 from 10 am to 7 pm.