Materials have a huge a role in the way any design shapes up. Be it in fashion, or interiors, materials can make or break a design. Understanding the way different materials behave under different circumstances can give a design that extra edge. Every material has its own unique characteristics, key features and qualities. It also has its drawbacks. At Cindrebay Institute of Fashion and Interior Design, we believe that knowing materials closely is only possible by working with them. As significant as learning the text book definition of a substance, its chemical composition and its main uses, its equally important to grasp first hand its various applications, how it can be used to the best of our advantage, and how to work with it. Bearing this in mind, “THE VOID” organizes a lot of workshops to help students equip themselves with knowledge of various materials. After learning about the extremely versatile material, wood, it was time for the students to know more about terracotta and clay and its diverse uses in the Pottery Workshop organized on 29th of September. We at Cindrebay, decided to make our own diyas and lamps this Diwali!!
For the workshop, the students were asked to study the terracotta material. They were asked to see products made with the same, study how they are made, baking time, painting techniques to prepare them for the workshop. They were also asked to select something they would want to mould, or come up with their own design in the form of a sketch. On the day, the potter brought in with him a huge pottery wheel and lots of clay to experiment with. The students were first asked to prepare the clay under the guidance of the artist. They learnt the right consistency required to mould the clay and how to achieve it. After preparing the clay, the potter demonstrated the art of shaping wet clay into something beautiful. Just the right amount of pressure is to be given while modeling the clay, otherwise it breaks from the mound or doesn’t shape. The artist showed the right technique of placing the hands and also taught the students to carve designs, to polish the item and to give fine lines and patterns to the item.
Terracotta art forms a fundamental part of Indian ethos and legacy. In addition, the art form has not been vanished as many others have; rather it is thriving and getting richer even now with artisans uninhibited in their imagination and ingenuity. “Baked Earth” in Latin, terracotta is the art of sculpting glazed or unglazed porous earthenware, from clay which is dried and fired or baked to achieve typical orange, red, brown or grey colors. It is then cooled by covering in dry sand. The color is derived from the type of riverbed clay the artist uses and also on the baking process. Pieces can be further decorated by painting them in vivid hues or left raw for a rustic minimalistic look. A lot of home décor items are fashioned out of terracotta. It is pretty malleable and can be easily moulded to suit any design. Vases, sculptures, statues, showpieces, centre pieces, lamps, artefacts and simple household items such as pots, spoons, ladels, cups, jars can be made with terracotta as well.
Fashioning exquisiteness with a lump of soil, a wheel, a kiln, and the force and deftness of the artificer’s hands is what terracotta art is all about. The artisans, create magic which attracts people from all over the world. Indian handicrafts and artefacts are the envy of all foreign tourists alike and are sold all over the nation, typical of different states. Ms. Khushboo Agarwal, (Regional Head – Cindrebay, Nagpur) says, “An often-overlooked facet when commencing a new interior project is the selection of materials that will be used to finish the design. Despite the fact that some designers only use the finest resources available without any budget constraints to worry about, this is not always the greatest course of action and can even negatively sway the overall scheme. Working with different materials in the preliminary stage of study is a vital experience to gain knowledge about them for future use. Terracotta and clay are very adaptable and are used in multiple ways in interiors which is why it gives us great pleasure to introduce it to our students in such an enjoyable and exciting way.”
After the students each tried their hand at making their own articles, they were asked to let them dry and paint them with water or acrylic paints. The students let their creativity run wild and came up with some amazing looking products. Some chose abstract designs, geometric patterns and modern art, while others opted for more traditional motifs. Either ways, the results were stunning. The enthusiasm shown by the guests was also infectious. Everyone who attended participated whole heartedly in the event and took back not just the product they made but also fond memories of the enlightening experience. Join us at Cindrebay School of Fashion and Interior Design, for many such activities and events every week!


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