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Suresh Waghmare

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Bhelwapadar Para, Kondagaon, Dist - Chhatisgarh - 494226

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The Adivasis of Bastar use the ancient method of casting metal by the lost wax process. They create icons for worship, ornaments like anklets and necklaces, items of utility like containers and measures, oil lamps, musical instruments, trees and animal forms. Their craft includes sculptures of their Gods and Goddesses like 'Raodev', 'Dhanteshwaridevi', 'Moulidevi' and 'Pardesin Matadevi'. An interesting characteristic of Bastarart is the stylized figures with elongated torsos and arms. With the introduction of steel and plastic the craftsmen do not make items of utility but continue to make religious icons for their ceremonies and temples.

The procedure of gadwakam is laborious. The clay model is covered with wax on which intricate detailing is done. Another layer of fine clay is added onto the wax layer with a hole at the bottom. When the outer shell is dry and hard, a fire is lit around it so that the wax between the two layers melts and comes out of the hole. A cavity is created which is then filled by pouring in a molten mixture of brass and bronze. When this metal cools and solidifies, the outer layer of clay is removed to reveal the object which is then filed and burnished.