Another art of Andhra
Pradesh, the bronze castings are a paragon of excellence in
sculpture. This art gives a touch of life to the icons by replicating the
exact shapes of human organs. The artists seem to derive a genuine
inspiration from nature in molding the metal into icons. The dazzling
bronze adds to the grace of the castings.
The common metal bronze is transformed into beautiful masterpieces of art by the artisans of Andhra Pradesh. Idols of Gods and Goddesses are molded to perfection, as they are modeled on the instructions from 'Shilpashastra', which specified certain guidelines on physical measurements, proportions, description of the deity, characteristics, symbolism and above all aesthetics.
Inspired By Nature
Nature was also used as role model. Eyebrows were modeled after fish or neem leaf; the upper lip was based on the shape of the bow and so on. These castings appear so realistic as to keep one spellbound. The idol of 'Adishakti' sitting on a lotus, the meditating Buddha, the 'Ardhanariswara' statue, the 'Nataraj' performing the 'Tandav Nritya', all show the artists commitment to perfection.
Casting An Image
In solid casting of icons, the mould is made by giving several clay coatings on a prepared wax model, but with a different clay each time. These convey the contours of the model to the cast-image and are therefore important. The molten alloy is then poured in a thin and even stream into the mould made red-hot. When the mould is broken, care is taken to see that the head of the icon is out first as a good sign.
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