A strikingly lovely Nair woman gazes sweetly at your direction. She is formed in superb proportions: slender shoulders tapering down to a small waist, and wide-set hips. Her saree is wrapped tightly from above the bust downwards, revealing long, supple arms. A perfectly round face studded with soft features and characterised by gentle angles.
The image of the beauteous Nari woman is a legacy of Raja Ravi Varma, the great 19th-century painter. From the drape of the saree to the way the hair is gathered atop her head, everything about this murti draws from the iconic Nair Lady Adorning Her Hair painting by Varma. In this composition, however, she stands bearing a small plateful of flowers, probably as an offering to the deities of her clan.
The sculpture that you see on this page is made from cedarwood. It is a relatively soft medium to work with, even in the organic class, and may bear a faint scent with passing undertones of balsamic-camphoraceous. As such, the medium adds to the ethos of the Nair woman composition. Finally, the characteristic washed-out colour of the medium adds to the aesthetic of the work.
How to care for Wood Statues?
Wood is extensively used in sculpting especially in countries like China, Germany, and Japan. One feature that makes the wood extremely suitable for making statues and sculptures is that it is light and can take very fine detail. It is easier for artists to work with wood than with other materials such as metal or stone. Both hardwoods, as well as softwood, are used for making sculptures. Wood is mainly used for indoor sculptures because it is not as durable as stone. Changes in weather cause wooden sculptures to split or be attacked by insects or fungus. The principal woods for making sculptures and statues are cedar, pine, walnut, oak, and mahogany. The most common technique that sculptors use to make sculptures out of wood is carving with a chisel and a mallet. Since wooden statues are prone to damage, fire, and rot, they require proper care and maintenance.
It is extremely important to preserve and protect wooden sculptures with proper care. A little carelessness and negligence can lead to their decay, resulting in losing all their beauty and strength. Therefore, a regular clean-up of the sculptures is a must to prolong their age and to maintain their shine and luster.
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