Monday, February 13, 2012

In That Corner

That empty space next to the Tv unit is an eyesore, a blank. It needs a dash of colour. Or that corner table in the crook of the perpendicular between two sofas. Or the barren looking console. We all have empty spaces in our home, which we want to fill, not with clutter, but with something to accentuate the surroundings. Even in a minimalist home, you will often find the corners are adorned with something, a big lamp, or an arrangement of dry flowers, just a simple set of vases or a recliner.

Corners are technically the useless spaces in the house, when one comes to think of utility. These spaces, however, when artfully decorated can add the glamour quotient or a simply, some character to the space. I have always been a very big fan of a colourful daree spread, with floor cushions thrown in and a small coffee table with little knick knacks in a corner. A hookah maybe. Reminds me of Morocco. Not only does it look very inviting, it can also be very versatile in terms of the kind of rug you use, the cushion covers and what you keep on the small coffee table. Make it look ethnic, indo western or completely minimalistic, the choice is yours.

Coming to the question of what to adorn those corners with? The often neglected space, where the maid makes a quick run with the broom and that’s that? No. Go crazy with some eartherware stuff so readily available in the market these days. They come in terra cotta finish, which you can make over in your own style. Bring out the artist in you, paint, personalize and decorate your home!


1.     1.Any  earthenware object you find appealing while looking at the wide array on display at the potter’s.
2.      2.Primer (which acts as a base coat for the oil paint. If you don’t use primer, the clay soaks in the paint and the final layer of paint ends up looking dull in a couple of days.)
3.      3.Oil paint (in my case, I used bright red and black. The choice of colour is completely up to your personal taste and the way you want your object to look ultimately)
4.      4.Gold bronze powder (this can be used to add a bit of drama or glow to an otherwise solid looking object.)
5.      5.Linseed oil (to mix the bronze powder with)
6.      6.Rag cloth, paint brushes and plenty of newspaper to spread on the floor)
7.      7. Turpentine (to wash off the brushes and paint off your hands)

Getting started:

The first step to any art activity concerned with permanent paints (oil based) is to spread newspaper on the floor space that you will occupy for the activity. After all, you don’t want a nice piece of marble flooring in YOUR house to look stained an ugly. Then clean out the clay statues with a clean rag cloth to get rid of any surplus dust or stray mud particles. Shake the primer well and paint the statue with a thin layer.  Make sure to fill in any nook or cranny which is not directly visible too.

Allow it to dry properly. Normally takes about an hour to dry, but allow it to rest for 2 hours to be on the safer side. Then apply a coat of the colour you want your finished statue to be. I’ve used bright red oil paint on all part except for the jewelry, the musical instruments and the turbans which I wanted to highlight with gold bronze paint. Again ensure that all visible and not directly visible areas are properly painted.

                                         The nooks and crannies that should be taken care of.

After the first layer dries, apply the second coat and let it dry. In the meanwhile, take an old palette or a left over diya used last diwali and mix some gold bronze powder with linseed oil. 

Make sure it’s not too runny or the white of the primer will show through. Apply a layer of this mixture to the areas you wish highlight. Let all the paint dry over night.
The next day, look for any patches or unfinished areas and touchup the paint wherever needed. 

Then apply black paint for just the mustache to add a defined feature to an otherwise neutral face .

VOILA! You have something hand painted by none other than you to decorate your home! Keep these on a coffee table with some throw cushions to go and you have a mini hookah parlour ambience right in the beautiful space of your home!
The red men would look beautiful against a dark toned dari or a yellow wall, or both. Or visualize a white room, with just these little beauties as the center of attraction. Who says corners are boring!