(Last Updated on : 09/05/2015)
Clay Crafts of Madhya Pradesh are known for the terracotta items that are part of an antique tradition of the state. The art of creating terracotta items is one of the oldest traditions in India. In fact the artists from Madhya Pradesh have preserved the traditional craft form with their own perseverance.
Clay Craft is practiced in almost all region of Madhya Pradesh and each region has its own distinct style and artistry to display. The terracotta items of Madhya Pradesh are made by following a mature process of moulding and decorating the clay items. Clay crafts of Madhya Pradesh involve decorating the created items with great artistry after it is dried and baked properly. The colours of terracotta articles and figures are found in pink, red, brown to light and dark grey colours. One of the major centres of clay craft of Madhya Pradesh is located in Bastar. The artisans create famous traditional statues of elephants, serpents, birds and horses which stand unique in their simplicity and rustic tone. In addition to these, the decorative roof tiles and 'rukha padki' of Raigarh are also well known for their authenticity. The Bundelkhand terracotta of Madhya Pradesh stands apart for the life-size images of human forms. This form is particularly practiced by the tribal communities of Bundelkhand.
Clay crafts of Madhya Pradesh include creating decorative roof top tiles that are made partly by hand moulding and partly on the potter's wheel. These tiles are shaped like half tubes and the figures of elephants, monkeys, bears, reptiles, gods and goddesses are placed on top of them. Apart from terracotta items and other decorative items made out of clay comprise conventional dolls and toy making which need proper skill and artistry. These dolls are made of cloth pieces and clay by the artisans of Madhya Pradesh. The handmade clay toys of Madhya Pradesh are prepared in hollow shapes and sometimes the clay toys are formed with solid figures. Animal figures like horses, elephants, dogs, lions, birds, deer and bulls are made on wheels.
The local people of Madhya Pradesh worship the idols of the gods and goddesses. Local people of Madhya Pradesh sometimes place terracotta animal figures under trees and in shrines.