Newer manufacturing technology over traditional methods to make things have made things easier and in some cases even more accessible to common people. However, the makers of clay doll, known as Kumbhakaras, are still few ones of those who have not adapted to these changes and only for good reasons.
These Kumbhakaras, with their artistic hands and work, infuse life to a dough of clay. They seek your attention with their lively look and feel. It is not just creative, but it’s beyond that. It is tough to imagine about the details infused in them just with hands without any modern precision tools. They are not just beautiful but distinctive as they draw you towards them once you have a look.
The Kumbhakaras, as their name suggests are the potters and clay modelers. This art is performed in most part of India. However, the place where it all started to take momentum is Krishnanagar of West Bengal. This form of art has transferred many hands from generations and have come a long way to still hold that beauty and wisdom that makes it unique in itself. It has a rich history in itself.
It was started with Raja Krishna Chandra who called in many potters and clay artists to make idols of Goddess Kali and since then, it has never looked back. The process starts with making a skeleton using a metal wire which is used to support the structure. Then, all the work on them is done by hands or using traditional tools. The knife, brush, color have not seen much changes in years and still continues to be used by them. Once, it is done, they are left in sun to dry followed by firing them.
Now, it’s not all gold and roses. With the greater advancement and easier/cheaper access to most dolls like these, the Putul, as they are popularly known as, and their manufacturers are facing tough times now. The traditional methods take days to create one doll and also expensive. Eventually, their poor knowledge of marketing has also made them ruined their chances in this field.
However, the beauty that these artisans hold in their hand is not going anywhere soon. We just need to support them and ensure we appreciate as well as help them in growing to bigger markets so that we don’t lose this anytime in near future.