Poompuhar to help artisans find access to larger market
Poompuhar is planning to rope in graduates from NIFT and artisans to come up with new designs for making idols. It is also planning a design at its office here soon, a top official of the department said.
The corporation is in talks with four more airports — Tirupati, Tiruchi, Madurai and Coimbatore — for designing their premises on the lines of the Chennai airport, Santhosh Babu, Chairman and Managing Director, Poompuhar, told The Hindu.
“Most artisans make idols based on Agama Shastra and what has been passed on to them from earlier generations. They might make only very minor deviations. We hope to bring in new design ideas and expand the scope of work and the kind of market artisans can access,” he said.
Poompuhar is also toying with the idea of 3D printing of miniature models of idols. “Normally, it would take about 10 to 100 hours to make one wax mould manually, based on which the final bronze product is made. With 3D printing, we hope to reduce the time of making small idols on a large scale. We are very clear that we do not want to toy with or change the process of idol-making, especially large ones. But for small, miniature models, there is a huge market that can be tapped,” he said.
Mr. Babu said with 3D printing, artisans can get Intellectual Property rights for their creations. “We will teach them to use software and design idols. The artisans can get IP rights for these. But the modalities will have to be worked out as getting IP rights is expensive”.
Mr. Babu added that 3D printing would enable mass production of miniatures. “Anyone can buy such small-sized models, for example, at the airport when they are leaving after touring the State. We are also in talks with the Egmore Museum to make miniatures of the artefacts there that people can buy. This is a completely untapped market in India,” he added.
The corporation recently received funding of about Rs. 20 crore from the Centre and the State government to set up cluster facilities where artisans can do their work free of cost. These centres will have all necessary facilities for artisans, he said. About 30 such centres are set to come up across the State.
In talks with Tirupati, Tiruchi, Madurai and Coimbatore airports for designing their premises