athangudi and the creators…

during my visit to chettinad, i went to a tile factory at athangudi, close to kannadukathan village.. its a common enough thing to do. and there are sufficient of them, and all tourist-friendly. that’s not a compliment. but in a village known for tiles and their aesthetics, they charge to watch them at their art! but, anyway i was there. and people had told me about it. and i had to do it.

the village itself is famous for its handmade tile making. its made in a simple fashion, with a cement base and an iron frame with the design, a dash of colours, some dry cement to dry it up and then its left to dry… then it soaks in water for a long time to let the cement set and that’s it. a good, strong tile is ready.

the beauty is that no two tiles will be identical. and you can customise the design you want! the colours used are bright, and given that this is flooring we are talking about, rather bold!

well… i lugged two of these heavy tiles back to mumbai. just had to have it. currently, one holds a beautiful cane lamp and the other sits below my i-pod dock…

but each time my eyes notice the tiles… it reminds me of that hot, dry day… the dusty workshop which was bigger than his house, mounds of sand lying all over, including in front of the gate leading to the entrance of his home-cum-workshop…

where this simple, dhoti clad man created design with the aesthetics of an NID graduate… made beautiful, delicate designs with bright colours and simple patterns that made floors sing… that brought to others’ homes while his own was ‘quiet’ and simple with a plain, sandy mud floor…

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