Hope everyone had a fantastic and joyful Ganesh Chaturthi…….!!!
Well, ours was a combination of pain and happiness. Pain because sonny was having very temperature and was a bit cranky. We thought its Teething Problem. As 1st time parents, we were just a bit worried bout him but marvelled at his active playing despite the temperature. Luckily, On the time of pooja, he slept and when friends came over he was happy to see his own group and played happily, which soothed our worrying hearts. So in that way, ours ended happily. Let me not bring his unwellness into the post again.
Hmm…This year thought of making ganesh with paper as medium, But one day, when I was just blog-hopping I found something interesting. Salt-Dough.( check out this Dr’s blog. You will love it if you are a DIY person) It was new to me, But I decided that’s how my Ganesh is going to be.
Read that Salt-Dough art originated in Egypt but became famous in Germany. The sculpture is basically formed from dough and allowed to dry in the sun for more than 20 days (depends on the form made). Alternatively, It could be baked ( saves so much of time too). Then it is painted. The salt in the dough acts as a preserving agent. The amount of salt could be increased or decreased. Increased results in a granulated texture and decreased salt results in a smooth texture. Also as a thick idol would take longer time to dry try to fill the inner hollows with aluminium foil. Helps in drying fast.
As this one I want to keep for a longer time I just took a bit more complex model that my atta-ganesh. (Even that model can be done).
- Salt Dough
- Aluminium Foil
- Tooth pick
- Paint Brushes
- Felt paper (any color)
- Greaseproof Paper
- Baking Tray
Salt Dough :
(Though I started out with a 1:1 ratio of salt and flour, I felt an irritating feel of salt granules in my palm so I increased the amount of flour. Use according to your comfort)
- 2.5 cups Flour/Maida
- 1.5 cup Salt
- Warm Water
(Sift the flour and salt together to make sure that there are no lumps and add warm water little at a time and make a soft dough. Mix it for 15-20 minutes to get a smooth texture)
Once the dough is ready quickly cut the aluminium foil and crush it roughly into an oval to form the body( if possible try to make the paunch of Ganesha on one side by adding extra foil over there. In the picture, as you can see there are 3 aluminium lumps, which I mad for the body, head and mooshika. But I used only body shaped foil)
Use some more foil and form a thick square-shaped lump for the dais. Now put the dough around the dais and body shaped foils and hide them well enough. Don worry if it isn’t smoothed. That phase comes next.
Make the body part stand over the dais. (If doubtful, just apply a bit of water to the base of the body and make it stand)
Make both the legs and carefully place them around the body. (By this time I realized that the body-foil I made is too long and if I use head-shaped foil, the proportion is going to blow-up so I just removed the top part of the dough, as seen in picture).
Make both the hands and attach them on either side of the body, applying little water if the dough is too dry to attach.
Make the head around the foil and add the trunk. As is seen in the picture, I din like the shoulder part so I thought I could make a shawl for him to cover that and It could also be seen how crude he looked at this stage.
A roughly finished product. Look at the shawl, I just joined few dough pieces together.
Now in this smoothing phase: Wash you hands nicely and apply water on the part you want to smoothed out and dab gently untill the imperfections are gone. Now take a toothpick and draw the lines on the body of the ganesh (making out fingers in the palm, lines on trunks and ear) and make a wide line to make folds on dothi and shawl. Smoothen them again.
After the smoothening and extra effects. Notice the mooshika here. He is actually attached to the dais.
In the oven ready to be baked. ( This 15 cm Ganesh Idol required 2hr 30 min of baking at 120C. The drying time may differ from idol to idol. Keep an eye )
Look my Baked Ganeshaa. As can be seen he has browned at some points where the dough is even. That actually looks cool. isn’t it ? By the time it was baked, the head of the mooshika has raised, which looked so natural.
Now tke your colors out and fire up your imagination and paint the idol.
Hmm….Completely painted Ganesha. I like that terracotta kinda touch of the dais. This phase could be pretty decent, I know. actually the fine lines and small paintings I did with a toothpick as I misplaced my painting-brush and colors set. It was as if all the local shops din wan to sell any colors or proper brush set at that time. We literally searched for 3 hrs in every other shop and these were the make-shift brush and colors that I could procure. With the eyes, tilak and everything on, Ganesh looks more bald and odd without the crown.
By the time I put sonny to sleep and came, this was what I saw, M, made out a crown and was trying it on Ganesh to check whether the color matched. Yep its a surprise to me and I felt very happy, for his excitement and of course the crown too.
After the pooja. Actually forgot to take any pic. We were about to sleep when I suddenly remembered it.Hmm….all thanks to Mr Sonny. 😉
** It is better to prepare the aluminium foil shapes before making the salt dough. It ensures that you have fresh dough at hand and you can start working straight away.
** Start the idol directly on a baking try on which the grease proof paper is kept. This way you can bake it directly once the idol is ready. Don’t forget to dust the grease-proof paper.
** This is the best medium to allow your child to play and get art-sy. Yep. I have checked the play-doh too. Its kind of sticky and the child may put in mouth too. With the salt dough, even if a child tries that, they are going to spit it out cause of the taste (Hmm…..I tried. Believe me its yuck…..yuck……yuck )
** Varnishing the finally painted idol would be a good idea as it gives a good finishing look. The varnish I bought had a red tint to it, I din wan to spoil Ganesh for the day, so I dint do. Now I’m planning to varnish it.