In 1727 Amber was surrounded by enemy states. From one side it was Maratha attacks and on the other side it was Mughals. Under these circumstances it was hard for Amber ruler to develop.
But, being a visionary Sawai Jai Singh II dreamt of a city so beautiful that it would be amongst most beautiful cities of India. Then capital of Dhundar, Amber was flourishing with trade and commerce and it became necessary for Maharaja to lay foundation of Jaipur in 1727.
History: Marble Sculptors of Jaipur
Even after city was established with a vision to serve as a major center of Arts, Trade and business it was hard for businessmen & Artisans to relocate to a city which was under constant threat of war.
Sawai Jai Singh II gave land in Jaipur to Artisans from different parts of India in a way to help them relocate to Jaipur. He was a lover of arts he timely praised and promoted fine artisans. And his successors practiced the same.
Sculptors from various parts of India were settled in Jaipur, specially in Khazane walo ka rasta in Jaipur.
Today, many sculptors trace back their roots to Gola ka Bas, Alwar, Benaras & even Bengal. It was due to the encouragement of Sawai Jai Singh II & his successors that Jaipur is world famous for its Marble Statues & Sculptures industry.
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- Location – Khazane walo ka Rasta (Map link) in walled city is where Jaipur Moorti Market is located.
Jaipur made Marble Statues are in constant demand around the globe. It’s not only the statues but Artisans also are invited to various parts of world for fine art work. This fine art work could be seen in various temples in form of statues and carving work.
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Marble Statues Jaipur Industry
Marble & other Stone Statue and crafts industry provides direct and indirect employment to over lakh artisans in Jaipur and nearby areas. Supporting industries like mining, logistics & trading provide bread butter to thousands more.
With growing revenues every year this industry has its own challenges. Sometimes the carving work is so fine that a wrong hammer would destroy months of work and lakhs of piece. This is unrecoverable!
Almost 15 to 20 percent of the total work is damage which in monetary terms is a huge loss. But that is the price of a Fine Art Work. Apart from this Sculptors face many health issues too. Many complain of kidney stones, lung problems, slip disc etc.
Issue – Most of the artisans work without masks and other protective gear. Marble dust particles accumulate into body and slowly affect breathing ability and sometimes cause kidney stones too. Lack of awareness for safety gear is clearly a concern.
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Moorti Art Jaipur
Most of the times ‘God Figures’ are in demand. But it does not mean that ‘Artistic Figures’ do not have a value in traditional market. Temples and Religious Trusts demand for ‘God Figures’ like Vaishnav Statues of Hindu Gods.
With festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi demand grows for Ganesha Murti and during Diwali people from all over India demand for Lakshmi & Ganesha Murti together. And not to mention Durga Puja, which is a big festival in North East India region & West Bengal region keeps Sculptors in Jaipur busy for months.
However, some Artistic Figures like Modern Ganesha are in demand all the time. Some Artisans have experimented with Ganesh Murti using their imagination and creativity.
One may find Ganesha with Rajasthani Turban or Ganesha sitting on a decorative Choowki.
These could be used for Home, Office purpose and some prefer to keep them on their work desk. Apart from Vaishnav Statues other religious figures are also made here. Bhagwan Mahaveer Statues or Buddha Statues are made in all sizes in white or black marble or green stone.
These are sent all over the world as the demand. Jaipur has also proudly built Martyr’s Statues & Leader’s Statues. Although, Religious Artefacts comprise of 80 percent (approximate value as per Industry Experts) of Trade but it does not rule out the importance of Artistic Statues.
Many Artists from Jaipur have been recognised & awarded by various Government Agencies. They have successfully represented India in various Foreign Trade Fairs.
Jaipur Moorti Manufacturing Process
Any Statue or Artefact takes at least 14 days to finish totally depending upon the size of the Statue and Quality of Work. Raw material that is stone in this case is sourced from mines Andhi, Makrana, Ambaji etc.
Some fine quality marble is imported from Australia, Vietnam and even Brazil. It adds up value and beauty of course.
Jaipur Statue Manufacturing Process
- Firstly Artisans using their imagination and experience take measurement of the stone and then according to desirable statue draws measurements on stone blocks.
- Then, secondly using traditional hammer and nails large edges are removed and first raw look emerges of what is going to be a classic piece.
- Then again experienced Sculptors draw measurements to check if the edges are removed correctly and to work on details like expressions, shape of body, limbs etc.
- As days past work gets tougher and finer.
Work needs to be neat and skilful for extracting expressions & eyes which some claim is the most difficult part in making a statue. Sometimes, even after 15 days of hard work if the result is not as desired the whole piece becomes useless.
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Once the final raw shape is extracted, statue is polished to give it shine and colour. Artists polish the statue with hands and it may take up to 3 days or more. Once the polishing part is done painters come in for final touch.
Painting work requires hours of precise work and within 3 days of drying Statue is ready for shipment.
Some would be pride of elites, some would be showcased in corporate houses or hotels and some may be worshipped as Gods (of course after proper ‘pran pratishtha’).
It’s amazing how some see beautiful artefacts in stone blocks while for most of us it’s just a rock.
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