Posted by Katie Nathan
Tamilnadu has a rich history of culture and tradition that has evolved over centuries. Perhaps the famous depiction of Tamil culture is in the handicrafts of Tamilnadu. By ceaselessly promoting the various ethnic art forms, simultaneously preserving antique artifacts from Chola and Pandya dynasties by reproducing their replicas, Tamilnadu has become a world-known destination for visitors of art in search of fine handiworks of India, such as life-like Stone Sculptures, Celestial figures in Bronze, Brass lamps, Rosewood Carvings, Sandalwood Carvings, country wood Carvings, Tanjore Art Plates, Tanjore Picture Paintings and more.
Chola Bronze Idols
The ancient craft of bronze or “panchaloha” casting of icons which reached its apogee of excellence under the Cholas is done by the cire per due or lost wax method. The icon is first made in wax and three layers of clay applied on the wax model which is then allowed to dry. When perfectly dry, the clay coated mould is heated over an open ground oven and the molten wax forced out through appropriate holes in the icons. When the mould is completely drained of wax, molten metal is poured into the mould and allowed to set. The mould is broken after a few days and the bronze icon emerges. Chiseling, detailing and polishing follow the process. The icon is now complete, the only one of its kind in creation.
The best bronze icons are still made in the old Chola Centres of Swamimalai, Madurai and Tiruchirapalli strictly according to Shilpa Shastra rules.