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Taking the eco-friendly path

M. Sai Gopal

K. Muralidhar makes astonishing clay models by things which are usually discarded


The artist did a lot of research on how to prevent clay models from developing cracks

‘If you are not happy with the finished artwork, just dip it in water and start again'


- PHOTO: K. RAMESH BABU

Finishing touch: K. Muralidhar making a model with the eco-friendly clay he invented.

HYDERABAD: A common plastic pipe used to drain out water morphs into a stunning village belle. A multipurpose galvanised iron wire now stands tall as a farmer with a plough on his shoulders. At another corner of the wall, a piece of thermocol has been turned into an exquisite clay model of Radha-Krishna, imitating art on wood complete with fine engravings.

The clay used to mould these three-dimensional figures is unique. Unlike normal clay models, which develop cracks, do not have solidity and need to be ‘fired' in a kiln, this clay does not require any special treatment.

To top it off, it is eco-friendly and no chemicals have been used in its preparation.

The studio of artist K. Muralidhar at Sindhi Colony has loads of such astonishing clay models, moulded by using things which are usually discarded to a bust-bin.

The empty box of a talcum powder now has a clay face on it and can be used as a paperweight. A used towel has been expertly moulded, by using the clay, into wavy curls of a woman.

“Such artwork is usually done with plaster of Paris, cement or adhesives like an M.seal”. Normal clay does not bind and cracks develop immediately. I have prepared this eco-friendly clay without any chemicals. The colours being used in the artwork are also natural,” says Muralidhar.

To prove the environment friendly nature of his clay, Muralidhar grows decorative plants at his art studio, by using the clay, in small pots. The artist has done lot of research on how to prevent clay models from developing cracks, make them light weight and without using furnace or a kiln to heat.

“I have used grounded cotton powder to prevent cracks and wood powder to make clay light in weight,” he reveals. The clay is soluble and artworks can be recycled by dipping in water. “If you are not happy by the finished artwork, just dip it in water and start again,” he says. He can be reached at 98665-72242 or on his blog ‘www.muraliarts.blogspot.com'.

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