The reproduction of mankind is a great marvel and mystery. Had God consulted me in the matter, I should have advised him to continue the generation of the species by fashioning them out of clay.
— Martin Luther King
Art is the outcome of human cognition and imagination and this creative process passes through various stages of modification. Beginning from rock painting, which is categorized as immovable art, humans have discovered various media of expressing their creative impulse and Terracotta is one of them. Terracotta, an anachronistic form of clay based art, can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilization. It is perhaps one of the first expressions of creativity of human mind. The word ‘Terracotta’ means baked sand and as the name suggests, it is used to refer to items made out of earthen clay. The use of the five elements: air, water, earth, fire and ether in Terracotta art form, lend it both an air of mystery and auspiciousness as per Hindu beliefs. This well renowned art not only survived through ages but has also stood out with time, but in the current scenario it is somehow forgotten amidst the new age products.
Direct Create brings to you the treasure trove of Terracotta Crafts , to bring alive the lost glory of this exquisite Indian craft, which by all means and methods, has brought us closer to the remarkable beauty of mother nature.
1. Mitticool Refrigerator
The first on our list is the popular Mitticool Refrigerator. This ingenious innovation was designed by Mansukhlal Raghavjibhai Prajapati, a modest clay craftsman in rural India, at the time when Gujarat was hit by a devastating earthquake and was swirling in the waves of poverty. To bring a relief to this havoc, Prajapati gave his contributed and came up with an inexpensive terracotta clay fridge for the rural populace of India that does not demand power to keep food new and fresh.
2. Bird Feeders
Terracotta has something for our beautiful, tiny aviating friends. If you are the one who loves the sweet chirping sound of birds, then this cute bird feeder, will surely serve your purpose. Fill this baked earth setup with mealworms, nibbles or seed and hang from a tree or feeding station. Now all you have to do is to wait for the birds to fly in and fill your garden space with mellifluous sounds.
3. Terracotta Water Bottle
Here is another revolutionary product from Mitticool; handmade by special mixture of clay, the terracotta water bottle has the property of naturally cooling the water. We all remember the good old days when we would drink water stored in the Matkas, but now we even have bottles. These bottles not only cool the water down, but they also provide healing with the elements of earth. It’s Green for Earth and Good for your health.
4. Wind Chimes
The trend of percussion instruments loosened its grip over the home décor items for some time, but the terracotta wind chimes with suspended terracotta tubes, rods and bells are still open to swirl into the beautiful breeze. The chimes are available in various designs and sizes and each piece holds the gravity to leave you amazed with the earthen beauty. Torn between ethnic and contemporary, these chimes add an earthy tone to the surroundings and produce a pleasing sound when hung in the direction of wind.
5. Tea Light Holders
If you are a tea-light lover, but the wind bothers you all the time, then these tea-light holders will not only safeguard your lights , but will allow the aroma to spread across the room, inducing happy vibes. It is among the most magnificent contributions of Indian artisans to decorative.
Terracotta is one of the most ancient manifestations of human creativity with terracotta jewellery being one among the recent additions to the domain of terracotta artifacts and to the fashion world. It finds a huge market in Kolkata among both the young and old. Clay is shaped and formed by hand using techniques of slabbing, pinching, coiling, die pressing and carving. The individual parts are fired and strung into ornaments such as necklaces, earrings and bangles. Go on, make yourself some intricate pieces of art, and add a dash of exuberance to your outfits.
7. Name Tags
Needless to say, these name tags are themselves a reflection of fabulous legacy of Terracotta art, taken forward by our artisans.
In the making of these clay-works, the clay is solidified to some extent and wedged to be framed into the desired shape and size on the potter’s wheel and meticulous care is taken to retain the natural grace and feel of the tags. These tags are scratch-proof, kills water-borne bacteria naturally, and a certain unique factor can be witnessed in each piece because they are handcrafted.
8. Terracotta Ghatam Pots
Here is another remarkable contribution of Terracotta – “GHATAM” a large, narrow-mouthed earthenware water pot used as percussion instrument in India. Unlike other Indian percussion instruments, such as the tabla and mridangam, the Ghatam does not have a membrane over its mouth. Playing Ghatam is like moving through a maze of varied rhythm signatures and intricate beats as the Grammy-winning Ghatam maestro Vikku Vinayakram says it. Ghatam is the generic Sanskrit name for a pot. Although the earthen pot is the most common instrument found in musical cultures across the world, it was only towards the mid-nineteenth century that it came into Carnatic music. Entering at a time when most other Carnatic instruments had attained a degree of musical sophistication, this rustic, humble instrument struggled to find its own voice and space.
9. Terracotta Foot Scrub
No foot cleaning material can beat this two sided terracotta foot scrubber to clean away dry and buff skin of your feet. A traditional tool used since antiquity in India, it works just like a pumice stone/metal file to scrub and slough away dead skin.
10. Terracotta Tile
The captivating world of tiles is filled with an enthralling array of colors, patterns, styles, finishes, and textures. The material that you choose for the floor tile can often determine much more than aesthetics and you need to consider aspects such as where it would be used, the budget at your disposal and the wear and tear that you expect it to withhold. While wood and stone flooring are popular options in modern homes, there is another timeless classic that brings forth images of gorgeous interiors- the terracotta tile.
Trends may come and go, but the deep red beauty of baked earth endures. Even in an age where technology continues to tighten its grip, Terracotta has found its place in the heart of every Indian artisan and this tremendous art never felt the need to thrive for admiration. The new age gadgets and fancy products may find their place in today’s world , but in terms of durability, longevity, historical and aesthetic appeal, even the most newfangled gadget would be hard-pressed to replace the staple that terracotta has become.
Buy terracotta products and many more on Direct Create!