In the basic process of clay moulding; the clay is processed, preserved for few days and then used for making the pottery. The smaller amount of clay is flattened and the prepared slab of clay is filled in two moulds and both are joined. The mould is removed to reveal clay idol. Finally the products are burned/ heated in a closed kiln. Embellishments are added through painting to enhance the external beauty.
The detailed process of clay idol making includes:
• Firing Process
• Clay Modeling
Initially, the clay is preserved up to 15 days as the preserved clay is very much suitable to make fine products. The mitti is bought from Khusru bag area in Allahabad. It is allowed to dry under the sun for 2 days. Then it is filtered to remove the stones and impurities using iron sieve. The processed mitti is mixed with water to prepare dough. The dough is finely mashed with hands to make it soft. The process of mashing is done by the womenfolk in the household during their free time.
Smaller amount of prepared clay dough is taken and flattened in a circular shape like chapatti. Two moulds which are made of POP (Plaster of Paris) are taken in modeling process. Boric powder is sprinkled on the mould as it helps to avoid contacting with the clay while removing the clay model. Now the prepared wet slab of clay is placed on the mould and pressed into it until it takes the proper shape of the mould. The mould consists of two parts to form one idol. The two mud filled moulds are joined and pressed to fix the corners of idol. Now the mould is carefully removed to reveal the idol. The idols are allowed to dry under the sun for two days. Proper care is taken to avoid the cracks due to excess heat.
Firing process is done in a traditional kiln. The dried clay idols are placed inside the kiln and it is covered completely. The kiln is fired using wood and charcoal. Firing is done at a high temperature for 4 hours continuously. After firing, the burned products are allowed to cool for 12 hours inside the furnace.
Burned clay idols are beautifully embellished with colors. Colored chalk powder and gond are mixed to prepare the color solution. Different colors are used to decorate the clay idols.