Terracotta art gives a new lease of life to clay artisans in Orissa

January 20th, 2009 - 6:34 pm ICT by ANI  

By Sarda Lahangir
Koraput (Orissa), Jan 20 (ANI): Terracotta art has given the artisans in Orissa a fresh enthusiasm in their lives.
Villages like Kusumi, Dashmantpur, Laxmipur, Kumbharput in the district are practising the craft to earn their livelihood.
“People here are involved in this art for past eight to ten years. It has been really of benefit. When this was not there, we had to go out to work as hired labourers. But now after this, we are earning better. We also have mini-trucks to carry out products,” said Rajiv Kumar, an artisan.
In terracotta pottery, refined clay is partially dried and cast, moulded, or worked by hand into the desired shape and placed in a kiln or atop combustible material in a pit for drying. After exposing to fire, the hot ware is covered with sand to cool.
Artisans have become adept in preparing varieties of terracotta craft like pots, statues, animals, the flower vases and many more such things.
They said they also find many customers to sell their products.
“Earlier, when we were into making earthen pots, we used to face a lot of difficulties. But now after learning this art, we are making good earning for our family. Customers are coming to our houses to pick up our products,” said Banamali Kumbhar, another artisan.
The authorities have also provided the artisans with proper marketing facilities to sell their wares.
“With the funds provided by the government, we organised training camps at areas like Kusumi and Ghumra. By utilising these funds, the beneficiaries are given marketing assistance. They can market it at different places including in towns outside the state,” said Kishore Chandra Bag, General Manager, District Industry Centre, Jeypore.
Through this craft artisans in the area are earning an income of 50-60 thousand annually.
Terracotta has been in use since ancient times for sculpture and pottery throughout the world . (ANI)

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