Mud is collected from river banks and fields and sieved to a fine consistency. Stabilized with dung, it is then molded and shaped by the potters into beautiful sculptures spanning different sizes. These are then fired to strengthen them and painted over with terracotta color.

Raw Materials

Mud - Red and Black soil is collected from the fields or river banks. White mud is also obtained. Cloth - Is used for sieving the mud impurities out.
Wood and Dung cakes (Kande) - are used for fuel.
Geru - earthy red color.
Fevicol - for adhesion. 

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Waste

Ashes of the dung cakes and wood used for baking and the broken fired products, which cannot be used for anything.

Tools & Technology

Pindi: the beating tool.
Lakdi-ki-pattiya: the wood scraper.
Chaak or the shaping tool.
Hathha:
flat tool for leveling and shaping.
Various paraphernalia for making patterns on the clay forms, like shells, nails, bangles etc
Brushes:

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Rituals

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Process

Preparing the mud
The red and black soils are blended together. This mixture is then sieved using cloth. After sieving, it is dried and then soaked in water for 2-3 days, filtered and sieved and then mixed with water again to the right consistency. It is then mixed with horse or cow dung and beaten with the hand, Pindi or stomped using the feet.

Making the shapes
The mud is shaped into desired designs using the hand or the Chaak. Pots and various vessels are made by turning on the potter's wheel and then beating from inside to widen and even out the shape. On the sculptures, few clay pieces are coiled or made into little balls and added on as decoration. While still a little moist, various patterns are made onto the surfaces. For example, the edges of shells are pressed onto the surface to imprint their undulations or pine cones are bought and when pressed, create semi-circular pock marks on the clay. These are then left to dry in the shade. 

Painting
Thin Budli and red mud is mixed and water is added. This is kept in a pot. After 12 hours, the water is shifted to another pot. This is then heated. After a while, the water content becomes half and the terracotta color required for the sculptures is obtained. The color is then brushed onto the various sculptures.

Firing in the Bhatti/kiln
Firewood and dung cakes are spread on the ground. The unfired sculptures are placed over this. Broken pieces from previous firings are also sometimes added along with the fuel. They are stacked till a vague dome is formed. The spaces between the unfired sculptures are filled with more fuel. This is covered by a layer of straw, ashes and then a thin layer of fine clay. A hole is left at the top for ventilation and some space is given around the circumference. The space at the bottom is for adding the fuel. The kiln is then fired and maintained for around 4-5 hours. The temperature required for the sculptures is around 500 to 600 centigrade. The color of the finished product is governed by the amount of oxygen that reaches the flame. 

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