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A special kind of flour called 'bommai maavu' (toy flour), powdered paper, starch powder derived from roots (for sticking), mud for weight, paint and the mould to shape the toy which is carved from stone are required to make this toy.
Moulds used for making Tanjore Toys
Toy flour is mixed with water to form a firm mixture like clay/dough. It is then flattened and pressed along the mould until it gets the shape of the mould. The extra flour material is then scrapped out.
Once the mould is ready bits of paper are pasted on the inside edge of the piece using the starch paste. This makes the piece strong and reinforces the shape of the mould well. Both the moulds are held together and layers of newspapers are stuck along the partition to hold the two pieces together making it into a single piece. The upper part of the toy is now ready and kept for drying.
Once it is completely dry, the terracotta bowl is stuck to the bottom with rolls of paper. Finishing is done by applying the toy flour paste all over it.
The toy is then left to dry for a while and then painted with different colors.
The most commonly sold pair of King & Queen rolly-polly toy.