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Terracotta is a term used generally for sculptures made in earthenware, and also those forms created for various utilitarian purposes like vessels, flower pots, bricks etc. Pottery is a specialized art that has always fascinated art lovers.

The major step in making pottery involves collecting appropriate refined clay, to get the desired shape. After drying, the clay is placed in a kiln or on the top of combustible material located in a pit, and it is then fired. The temperature of the fire should be around 1,000 °C and during this process, the iron reacts with oxygen which results in a fired body or reddish color. The overall color generally varies widely with various shades of yellow, buff, orange, red, pink, grey or brown.

Terracotta Making in Andhra Pradesh

In AP, Palamaneru and Madanapalli towns in Chittoor District are quite popular for its attractive and varied Terracotta Pottery. The locally available mud/clay is considered suitable for pottery work. The potters here make use of two kinds of mud which are mixed together to make the end products. Black mud and Red mud sourced locally is used.

The potters create an array of craft products and these Terracotta products are painted, as customers prefer painted objects increasingly these days, compared to the natural terracotta ones. There are wide varieties of Terracotta items available here. Terracotta artisans here make several articles, like lamps, pots, musical instruments, flower vases, horses, idols, plates, elephants, and other highly attractive artefacts.

The ‘Terracotta Crafts Centre’ located near Palamaneru on the Bangalore-Chennai highway has been a hub of Terracotta pottery in AP for more than a decade. There are many small open-air outlets here alongside the highway, where dozens of artisans display their work.