Clay Ganesha

DIY fiesta: Making Clay Ganesha

The months of August and September have always been my favorite… That is the time when we see the dry lands turn into green pastures. The weather is pleasant with mild showers and cool breeze. The sun is not too hot and there is greenery everywhere.

These months usually coincide with the Shraavana masa of the Hindu calendar which brings with it festive season. The first major festival we celebrate in our household  is the Varamahalakshmi Vrata which falls on the 2nd Friday of the Shraavana masa. The next big one being the Ganesh Chaturthi which falls in the month of Bhadrapada.

What I love the most about this festival is the way the neighborhood comes together to plan and celebrate it as a social festival. From our childhood, it has been a tradition in our home to get the Ganesha idol and offer Pooja. The same tradition has continued even after I got married and moved in with my husband.

We have always made sure we bought the eco-friendly clay idols with no paints. Same would have been the case this year aswell. But having bitten by the DIY bug of late, I proposed that we make the idol by ourselves this year. Though I had no experience working with the clay earlier, I was totally determined to make the idol. My mom and husband had some experience in making clay toys in their childhood. So, they readily agreed to my proposal.

The preparations began about a week before the festival.  We happened to visit my mom’s home town from where we got a bag of clay from a pond while returning to Bangalore.  We also collected some soil from roadside. The first thing we did was to powder the soil cakes which we got from the roadside and sieve it to separate the dirt. We mixed the filtered soil with water to get the right consistency of the clay. The clay we got from the pond was already wet and we mixed both the clay types.

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We then made multiple balls of clay with varying sizes for the stomach, head, trunk, hands, legs and crown. We started putting together the parts to get a vague form of the idol. As we worked to get each part in shape the idol took better shape. We tried to add all the minute details to the idol.. The eyes, the fingers, laddoos in the lords hand, the mouse and even the pleats and frill on the lords dress… We had defined them all. Mom inserted two pepper corns to mark the eyeballs and gosh, it looked as if the idol had come to life.

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It was time to decorate the idol with jewelry. All the types of rhinestones and ball chains that I had purchased for my handmade jewelry came handy in decorating the idol. I had a spare quilled stud that I had made while attempting to make a pair of earrings for an order. It fit so well in the center of the idols crown. It looked as if the stud was made for the crown. It took about 5 hrs to completely get the idol ready from scratch.. The idol looked so magnificent… I will leave it to you to praise the beauty of the idol..

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Our success in making the idol has made us more determined to make our own idol each year going forward. Do let me know how you like our Ganapathi Bappa And don’t forget to like the post to show your appreciation..