DC Collaboration: Wrought Iron Deer From Bastar

The deer are jumping, the grass is green, nature’s calling.

From larger than life sculptures to irresistibly petite animal decorations, garden ornamentation lends a special sense of charm and style to your property. The traffic, the crowds, and the chaos cease to matter once you enter a landscaped garden.

In mid June 2017, we received an order from a Hospitality client for 10 wrought iron deer which they wanted to be crafted at Bastar and the deer were to ornament the garden space of a resort.

Picking up souvenirs from Bastar would mean that you are buying it from the craftsmen themselves. The Bastar craftsmen can compete with any metropolis in linguistic and cultural hybridity. We collaborated with Ramakant Maurya, a craft trader belonging to Chattisgarh, well versed with all the art forms of the state.

At his workshop , a group of craftsmen meticulously shape wrought iron curios.  Things like lamps, candle stands, effigies of musicians, toys, figurines, and deities are the typical products made out of this craft.

The deer figurines were predominantly crafted with recycled scrap iron.

Process

1. Always found as an ore, iron was processed into wrought iron and was heat forged bringing it into the shape of a rectangular iron sheet.

2. Small holes were made in the iron sheet for joining the parts of the deer figurine together using rivets.

An iron-smith creating small holes in the iron sheet with a hammer.

3. The sheet was then bent beautifully creating the body of the deer and similarly other parts were bent to shape the remaining parts of the figurine.Tongs of various sizes were used to bend the metal to form the head, body, legs and tail of the figurine.

4. Thereafter, the parts were welded, giving a final polish with a coat of oil.

Remote but unspoiled and breathtakingly beautiful, Chhattisgarh is home to some 40 tribes whose pointillist paintings and spindly handicrafts are as vivid as their colorful haats. These deers are evident of the matchless art techniques and patient inputs put up by the craftsmen. It took 5 to 6 days of constant labor and painstaking efforts of around 10-15 craftsmen for making these deer figurines.

This wrought iron deer with majestic antlers delivers the appearance of a deer grazing its way leisurely through the vegetation.

The proportions of the body parts may not fit right if you think of the the real deer, but their longer than leg antlers and pretty small face, is speaking wildly of the artistic and creative inputs put by the craftsmen. The deer has managed to navigate low branches with ease, and its glossy skin is shining in the afternoon light turning out an ideal figurine to complement any garden space.

This deer is made in collaboration with Ashish Patel, another craft vendor from Chattisgarh equally well versed with the varied craft forms of Chattisgarh.

Made predominantly from recycled scrap iron, these wrought iron artifacts are seamless, one piece objects that talk volumes of the exceptional skill of these artisans carrying forth the traditional art practiced in Bastar, for generations. The themes for these artifacts are essentially inspired by nature, whose lap these tribal people dwell in.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *