Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hand-painted ceramics make an aesthetic difference

Do you want to decorate your home creatively and artistically? Then visit ‘Craft and Handloom Expo’ at JSS Urban Haat, which is showcasing exquisite handmade crafts like marble inlays, wood carvings, carpets, brass metal-wares, blue pottery and many other exhibits along with traditional sarees from Madurai. But it is the hand painted ceramic ware that catches one's attention immediately.

These handmade ceramic wares are aesthetic with vibrant colours. They are made using non-toxic ceramic tiles. The glazed tiles reflect the hues when decorated on walls.
“India is a treasure trove for some of the most exquisite handicrafts ever made. I chose to work only on ceramic or porcelain clay as it is the smoothest of all clay bodies and is an excellent medium for painting. Once the design and the painting is complete, I make it glaze by heating it in a kiln at very high temperature. This is the most critical stage of the entire process. These ceramics have a market and much sought after by customers who want their houses decorated with unique kind of artworks,” says Manoj Ramtke, who has come all the way from Bhadravathi to exhibit his ceramic works, shaping them into beautiful pieces of art.

Ceramic works are highly sought after for their unmatched beauty as they come in myriad colours and shades. Everything from abstract to geometric designs, images of historic events, even ancient cave paintings, Egyptian hieroglyphics and Mayan stone carvings are adopted as themes for hand painting on these ceramic tiles. Hand painting on ceramic tiles has also now evolved as a hobby as it gives a skilled artist freedom to express his imagination. Plain, shiny and white glazed ceramics are most suitable for hand paintings. The medium used for hand paintings on ceramics generally depend on the paint and techniques employed.

The first step is to decide upon the theme of the painting. Rough sketches are then made on a graph paper of the same size. Before starting hand painting, they are thoroughly cleaned with soap water and dried. The paint is then mixed with oil and turpentine. Brush and palette knife are used to smear and blend colors. After the hand painting is completed, it is heated in a kiln between 1350 and 1500 degrees Fahrenheit, then it acquires a shiny appearance giving it a glaze.
Most of these hand-painted ceramic works are quite durable and can be used even outdoors. A recent addition to the ceramic work is water-proof hand painted which can be used in swimming pools and fountains. The artisans are catering to the individual’s choice of paintings and colours.

The exhibition also has on display beautifully handcrafted flower vases made by craftsmen showcasing not only traditional Indian motifs but also modern designs. They appear in various styles, having exquisite to exotic designs, made out of a variety of materials in various shapes and are quite eye-catching with their compelling beauty. The crafts mela at Urban Haat will conclude on May 9.

Magic lamp

A deft work: This tortoise-shaped magic lamp has a hole below the design into which oil can be poured. The specialty of this design is that when the lamp is kept
upright, the oil will not spill out.

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