The market extends out to expatriate Hindu communities spread throughout five continents. The heart of this industry, by sheer output, lies in the south-west quarter of the walled city of Jaipur. White Makrana marble arrives in roughly shaped blocks, to be cut up by drilling a row of holes and hammering iron wedges into it until the stone breaks along the line of weakness. This drilling was done by hand using a hammer and a bladed rod, but electric drills are now taking over. Diamond-tipped chisels and electric grinders have improved the masonís lot, and their noises now compete with each other along the narrow streets.
For marble vases, the blocks are carved in two complementary hollows which are then stuck together to get the whole.
In the crafting of these figurines, a man will work from a vertical axis drawn down the roughly formed statue, continually outlining parts he is to work. Any breakage of a godís body makes it useless for worship. The finished image is brightly painted with acrylic colours. Large idols are produced to order, but smaller carving of the ever-popular Ganesh, Krishna and Rama are constantly turned out. Lintels, pillars and arches for temples are also in regular in regular demand. An increasing amount of work is done in Makrana itself, beside the great man-made chasm from which even the marble for the Taj Mahal was dug.
vases of marble famous for their pearly and intricately patterned surfaces
are first laid out with pencil outlines in Persian inspired floral motifs.
The outlines are then hand painted with real 22carat gold and acrylic paints
for stunning effects.
At IAC we stock genuine artefacts handpicked for our galleries, sourced directly from craftsmen. Bulk-buyers are welcome for actual site tours.
© Arts Indian Atelier 1999-2000