Process and Techniques:
The carving process essentially has the following sequence:
• Selection of the stone (Hard granite, Soft Gray granite, Mysore stone, White granite) is done on the basis of the sculpture to be made, depending on male or female carving the artist wants.
• The artist prepares detailed Sketching of the sculpture in the form of template on the hard paper, if necessary he also makes the clay models too. If there is a change in the figure style e.g., cloth draping etc., he also makes a wax model of the sculpture, in small scale. All these techniques not only give the artist the rough idea of the sculpture, but it also helps them to understand the proportion of the sculpture. This helps the master craftsmen to communicate with their fellow craftsmen who work under them as trainee regarding the understanding of the form.
The master craftsmen divide the work of sculpting into the three parts depending on the shape and size of the structure to be made.
- The master craftsman does the marking on the rough stone.
- The trainee or the helping craftsman who is/are semi-skilled or in learning stage removes the rough extra part of the stone.
- The master craftsman himself does the final finishing.
• After getting the exact pictures of the sculpture, Dimensions of the figure to be manufactured are marked on a stone slab, the rough and extra portion are removed in order to get the basic shape, smooth or flat dressing is made to define each and every details. The marking on the stone is done by the red oxide in several layers. The red oxide is commonly available locally. The metal is crushed and then mixed with water in order to make red colour out of red oxide. The colour marks on the stone surface do not vanish while chiseling the surface.
• Final finishing of the surface is done by carborundam stones (Chane Kallu) & final polishing is done with water and emery papers. If the sculpture has to be painted in black, it is done with the colours which are extracted from local fruits, as sarkai, annabare and kenbabari (dry fruit) - these raw materials are heated, melted and used as colour pigment.
The main techniques used are as follows :
- Cutting - Round chisel, Flat chisel, Hammer (all of different size).
- Grinding - Die grinder with different beats size, Channel cutter.
- Buffing - Hand buffer, traditionally made coconut shell hair brush.
- Polishing - Local fruits, as sarkai, annabari and kenbabari (dry fruit) are used.