Clay Dolls of Krishnanagar
Material Used: Clay
Among all kinds of dolls found in Bengal, Clay Dolls of Krishnanagar of Nadia Ditrict have managed to grab its place in the world of home decor and artifacts by showing abilities to adopt modern style and by being truthful to its root. Like many other art forms it has started its journey with the encouragement and patronage of the local kings in old age.
The main traits of Krishnanagar dolls are their realistic and delicate structures. Starting from small idols of Hindu and folk deities, realistic miniature human dolls of various race, religion, casts and occupations can be found in Krishnanagar dolls. Not only those, but the artists also make miniature replica of various fruits and vegetables. Sometimes they make a scene with the help of numerous models too.
Ghurni, Shoshthitola and Anandamoyeetola or Notunbazar are the three main centers in Krishnanagar where the art of pottery flourished the most. More or less 1000 families of artists can be found in total in these three places. The clay dolls made here are being exported regularly in several parts of the country and even outside the country too.
Like other clay dolls the initial steps of making these dolls are procuring the clay, removing the impurities like gravels, mixing cottons or tiny jute fivers if necessary, mixed them well with proper amount of water, pour them into moulds and so on. Though the models are small in size, the body parts are made in pieces. After joining the parts or limbs the unwanted lines and impressions are cleaned with wet clothes. Then they are burnet in kiln. Then they colour the dolls and add hair and other accessories. Previously the moulds were made of clay only, now they are prepared by plaster of Paris.
Now a days along with the traditional figures, the artists here can mould almost any kinds of dolls from a given reference photograph. They receive order from Chennai for Janmastami Sets of dolls, Krishna Gopal dolls etc. Models of Jarwa and other tribes are being exported to Andaman too. Thus these dolls represent Bengal in Global market.