Nirmal, a tribal town in
Adilabad is a world famous centre
for oil paintings. The themes are generally from the epics - Ramayan and
Mahabharat. Exhibited in wood paintings and other wooden articles, Nirmal
artwork abounds with aesthetic expressions. The talent of the artists in
capturing the mood of Indian and Moghul schools of art in their true
spirit is worthy of admiration.
The origin of the Nirmal craft can be traced back to the 'Kakatiya' dynasty. This form of lacquered woodwork was born in the town of Nirmal and since then it has remained a fascination through the ages and is today made in both Hyderabad and Nirmal. The motifs used are floral designs, frescoes from Ajanta and Ellora and Mughal miniatures.
Over the years, Nirmal work has grown to meet new needs. Apart from wall hangings, Nirmal craftsmen produce beautiful lacquered furniture, toys, pictures, trays, bowls, boxes and large screens. A large variety of utilitarian and decorative articles are also crafted in the Nirmal style.
The Creation Of Nirmal
The process consists of lacquering the surface of the item and then painting the chosen design. Traditional designs are traced or drawn in chalk on smoothened wood or composition board, then painted in flat, bright colours and often touched up with gold and varnished.
The indigenous colours used by craftsmen are made from minerals, gum and herbs. The now familiar gold in Nirmal work is got from herbal juices. Painting of Moghul miniatures on white 'Poniki' wood stands out as a fascinating fare. As the items age, they acquire a lovely muted glow.
Nirmal toys are made with a herbal extract, which gives them a golden sheen. They are usually models of animals, fruits and human occupations. There are similarities between the Nirmal and Kondapally toys in the type of wood used in the manufacturing process.
However, Kondapally toys are usually coated with watercolours while Nirmal toys are embellished with oil colours. Both types of toys are treated with tamarind paste at the primary stage before paint is applied.
The important difference is that after treating, the whole Nirmal toy is covered with fine cloth, instead of lime blues used in the Kondapally variety.
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