Terracotta handicrafts are the most ancient arts and crafts known to man. Be it in India, Pompeii or the Greek civilization, Terracotta art was everywhere.
The word 'terracotta' is derived from French ‘terra’, which means ‘earth’, and 'cotta' which means 'burnt'.
The main raw material is a mixture of loam and clay in equal proportion, which is kneaded with water to form a sticky paste. This paste is then cast into dice (which had previously been dusted with a fine powder in order to prevent the mixture from sticking to it's surface) and baked at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for seven to eight hours. The hardened material is then taken out and the finer features are carved by hand.
Terracotta is a tough, corro-resist material and the terracotta temples in India have withstood the elements for centuries. Finally, the objects are dusted and colored in a variety of shades. Terracotta objects come in an impressive variety of forms like pitchers, ashtrays, flower-vases/ flower-trays, Ornaments and other miscellaneous objects.
Earthen and terracotta pitchers are traditionally used to store drinking water for centuries. Unglazed earthen pots effectively cool the water stored inside by means of evaporation through the microscopic pores in the walls of the pot. This method was used before refrigerators were invented and is popular even today. Terracotta is used to make not only utility items but also objects of artistic value.
For seeing the beautiful artifacts of Terracotta, visit http://www.ethnocraft.com
About the Author
Somsubhro is a free lance writer in various websites and magazines. His hobby is tracking and writing about various ethnic handicrafts and sculptures from different parts of the world.