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Terracotta Art – Creating Art from Earth

Terracotta is an art of moulding earth into beautiful art. It is an ancient art dating back to 700 BC. Sculptures of Goddess, Gods, cart frames, and wheels have been unearthed from various sites from Indus Valley, verifying that it was first originated in India. Terracotta items were also largely used in trade deeds at that time, for example, trade seals.

This art is appreciated around the world and is becoming a hobby for many creative individuals. This art is known to bring your imagination to life and it requires patience and dedication. There are many institutes which teach you how to create this art from a handful of mud.

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Terracotta art has been an essential part of Indian heritage and it has not lost its significance with time. If anything, terracotta art has been more popular and in high demand as artists have adopted with time and kept innovating. It has been passed along through generations. Today India exports many beautiful terracotta objects such as statues, urns, attractive bells, wall painting, oil lamps, and so on. This art has proved to be a very profitable for artists as it is always in demand with customers. In India, you can find terracotta artists in almost every village and city; however, there are few states which are famous for their distinct form of terracotta art.

Rural areas of the West Bengal are known for creating beautiful terracotta pots, collectibles like attractive horses, household, and decorative items. Famous towns in West Bengal known for terracotta art are Murshidabad, Jessore, Birbhaum, Digha, and Hooghly. The terracotta art form was introduced in Bengal in the 16th century by Vaishnavite association. Their patterns generally describe the details to the community for which the art is created. In Darbhanga city in Bihar, horses are regular objects of terracotta art. Other animals’ sculptures signify major events or festivals such as elephants statutes are used during marriages. Artists from Gundiyali region in Bhuj, Gujrat create attractive clay pots with geometrical designs. Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Haryana, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha and Jammu and Kashmir are some Indian state famous for terracotta art. Famous terracotta items which are created by artists are birds, animal figures like horses, elephants, snakes tigers, cow, elephants, buffalos, large statues of Hindu Gods.  In Tamil Nadu, few villagers have shaped enormous hollow horses with intricate decorations which are known to be the world's biggest hollow clay statues.

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Terracotta art has survived since the 15th century due to its resourcefulness. From being used to create home décor items to building temples and building, terracotta is used for all. This building material is available in abundance universally. The know-how was developed after people learned the art of baking clay and started using it to design more permanent buildings, in case of inaccessibility to other materials like stones or woods. One of the best examples of terracotta architecture can be found in Bishnupura in Bankura district of West Bengal. It is the most popular and beautiful terracotta temple with extraordinary figurines and sculptures.

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