Photographer's Note

Making idols is an arduous process. Work usually begins in mid-April by propitiating Lord Ganesha. After worshipping the frame, the artisans begin to wrap them with specially cut straw. The pounded etel mati or sticky clay is mixed with rice husk and applied over the straw. This is called ek mete. The image is then left to dry. Cracks appearing on the surface are made smooth with strips of cloth, and once again layered with clay. This is followed by a second application in which do mete, that is, fine-grained clay, also known as beley mati, is applied.It is the expertise in applying this layer that gives a smooth rounded feeling to the body and the plastic finish of the idols. The face of the idol is separately cast and attached to the frame. The image is once again left to dry.

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Additional Photos by sunandan saha (papon) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 240 W: 127 N: 239] (1487)
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