Terracotta on my wall..

It’s been three months since I’d picked up a few terracotta plaques from Molela, Udaipur. I knew the wall where I wanted it, but I was contemplating a design. Initially the plan was to intersperse this with a few black and white pictures taken during my travel. Then it was a mix of paintings and finally I decided to give it a go. Without the paintings, of course and I am very happy with the result.

The wall where I wanted to do this installation. The plain white walls weren’t just right. I wanted something that was warm, Indian and would contrast the red terracotta brilliantly.

However much I was impatient to have my yellow walls, I had to wait for the process. And it takes time!

Yellow is definitely a difficult color. Too bright is tacky and too light is dull. I bought the brightest yellow possible and manually mixed white colour and applied patches till I was sure (almost!).

All that effort was definitely worth it. The wall turned out beautifully.

Since they were going to be riveted directly to the wall, I had to get the placement right. I tried a lot of combinations and decided to take my friend Shivani’s advice. She said the more intricate ones neeed to go at the end. That would be visually more appealing.

Terracotta is tricky. One crack and the whole thing falls apart. I hadn’t really planned it in my head when I bought it. So I had exactly 9 pieces! So it was such a relief once all of them had holes drilled in. One of the plaques chipped a bit, but I cleared this round without much incident.

I’d rather be safe than sorry. So I decided to use two screws diagonally on each plaque to fix it to the wall. One piece of advice for hanging art- ideally the mid point should be 57-60 inches from the floor. Mine is about 64 inches, but then there is a lesson to be learnt in almost everything in life! 🙂

The beauty of handicrafts is in the imperfections. The similarly (almost) sized tiles look fabulous when put together. I used some red color and cement mixture to camouflage the rivets.

I cannot even explain how happy I feel, everytime I pass by. The colour is perfect, the setting is right and brings a lot of character to my home.

If you like this and want something like this for your home, just message me!

Raghurajpur, Part 1: Life in black

‘Raghurajpur’ has been on my list of places to visit for a very long time. So when I finally set foot inside that village, I was over joyed. Located on the banks of a picturesque river, Raghurajpur is truly a treat for travelers like me. It is more like a settlement of craftsmen, all highly skilled and each of them create magic on their canvases.

(Photo Courtesy: P. Sindhuja) Here is my first glimpse of the village and I was already on an high!

There are many crafts to explore in that little hamlet. I decided to start with what I saw first, the tribal art. Made with just the basic black (originally soot collected from lamps were used), this art is a true example of how creative someone can get with whatever little they can get their hands on. Nowadays a small bit of colour is used to highlight and offset the black. The images have no facial features, yet they all have a story woven into them.

(Photo Courtesy: P. Sindhuja) Look at the details of a woman playing an instrument.

Kamarupa is one of the many talented artists in Raghurajpur. Barely in his 30s, he has practiced his art for as long as he can remember.

(Photo Courtesy: P. Sindhuja) Drawing inspiration from their environment, the simple motifs of everyday life are accentuated with a whole lot of detail.

The art is used on other medium as well. They are painted on cloth to be used as wall hangings.

I flipped when I saw a beautiful Tussar silk saree painted with this art. Sadly, I don’t have a photo to feature here.

So if you are already dreaming of that motif on your wall, make sure you leave me a message.

P.S: Please click here for more pictures of Orissa-Rath Yatra and crafts.

A small thanks to my friend Sindhu for those lovely photos! 🙂