Pop powder is sprinkled on the mould
Clay is set in the mould to make the idol
Artisan spreads the clay neatly and firmly set it in the mould
Base of idol is made hollow
Artisan removes the prepared idol from the mould
Artisan involved in removing the prepared clay idol from the mould
Image showing the detail design impression made by the mould on the clay
Artisan making designs on the idol
The prepared idol is checked for breakages and cracks
Clay idol kept for drying
Number of clay idols made and kept for drying
Idol of Lord Vishnu colored with vibrant colors
Clay figures or terracotta is made all over Tamil Nadu. To make the idol, first pop powder is sprinkled inside the mould to avoid contacting with the clay. After that clay is rolled into strips and placed inside the mould. The two clay filled moulds are joined and pressed to fix the corners of idol. After the model is ready it is carefully removed from the mould. The artisan checks for the breakages and fills the cracks with clay pieces. The shape and details of the model are also checked and corrected using the sculpting tools made of bamboo. The prepared idols are dried in room temperature. Then a mixture of red mud and water is applied on the dried idols and kept in the sun to dry.
When all the idols are dried it is taken to the furnace to be baked. The baked articles change its color from black to brownish orange because of red mud mixture applied as mentioned earlier. Once the articles are backed they are painted with enamel paints.
For more details: http://dsource.in/resource/terracotta-idols-vellore