Monday, September 13, 2010

Ganesh Chaturthi

Ganesha the elephant God. Right: A tiny figurine picked up from Rishikesh which is moulded around an areca nut. Possibly Plaster of Paris. The one on the left has been made by Anant and modelled on the one on the right. Medium: Italian quick hardening clay. Painted with acrylic paints. Both have their place in the altar on the occasion of the festival of the elephant God, Ganesh Chaturthi on September 11 2010.
For the two of us, heaven is a store filled with stationery and art supplies, preferably with a counter for dessert and a bookstore under the same roof. A couple of years ago we discovered a lovely store called Hobby Ideas in Indiranagar, Bangalore. We bought a few packets of this polymer clay in different shades of white and green...besides a whole lot of other materials. The shop subsequently disappeared from there, but I discovered some of their retailed products in Staples in  Bangalore earlier this year. The thing about the air drying clay is that it comes shrink-wrapped somewhat like a packet of dates. How does one break off bit without it drying up and going to waste because children do take a while to get their tiny fingers used to it? My tip is that before the child gets into the act, break off a test piece of the clay and immediately seal the rest in cling film or some other shrink wrap. Then just check out how long this lump of clay takes to harden when exposed to air. You will then be able to give the child a clear picture of how long it takes to harden, and they will be able to work happily without you breathing down their backs.  Give the child about quarter of a packet at a time and wrap the rest. I've also found that the raw clay is quite hard, and we used a few drops of water to make it into plasticine consistency.  Perhaps this could be tested out also with a small lump of clay.

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