Indian festivals have a stronger significance for me as a mother than it ever had. The joy of preparing for the festivals and enjoying the celebrations had somehow got lost during adulthood. So when Vidhya told me that we should do a Ganesha making workshop as part of Cforcat Activities, it really got me excited. Most of our activities are focussed on kids but we wanted this particular workshop to be family event where parents along with kids made a Ganesha. Clay work is beneficial in more ways than one for a child but making this Ganesha as family was more about reliving our childhood when families worked as a team and celebrated a festival. To the uninitiated, moulding helps kids develop hand eye coordination, fine motor skills, sensory skills, concentration and creativity. To be able to build something from nothing is one of the best form of education.
So, here we were. On a nice Saturday morning kneading, rolling and assembling our own Ganesha.
We had consciously decided to make the hand rolled Ganesha rather than the moulds one since we wanted it to be completely built by us. These are the main steps involved.
Dividing: The workshop started with dividing the clay into right proportions for different body parts. This is crucial since this sets the stage for rest of the work. The proportions have to be carefully divided since the wrong size will weigh the Ganesh down. Our clay was divided in central body, head, legs, hands, trunk, ears and accessories.
Moulding: Once the clay is divided for different body parts, we started working on the body parts. There was no particular order in making the body parts. We just had work a clay a lot and make sure there were no air pockets. This process was also about smoothening the clay and making sure no cracks develop as they start drying.
Assembling: This was the final step where we had to assemble all the parts together. We started with putting the body on a platform and then putting together every piece on the main body. Once we had the main structure ready along with the trunk and ear, we started accessorising the Ganesha. The accessories included mukut, tilak and modak etc. We then had a small mouse sit on the platform too.
Some images of the finished work:
We used natural clay and didn’t colour the Ganesha.