A type of earthenware is known as terracotta, which is a clay-based unglazed or glazed ceramic and there are pores in the body. The term terracotta is normally used for earthenware sculptures, and also for some other products like flower pots, water and wastewater pipes, roofing tiles, bricks and surface embellishment in building construction. A variety of terracotta items can be found in a gift item shop in Gariahat.
Five famous places where terracotta art was used
- During the excavations of Mohenjodaro, Pakistan, terracotta female figurines were found. Some sort of fertility cult and a belief in a mother goddess are suggested by these along with phallus-shaped stones. From ancient Mesopotamia, the Burney Relief, an outstanding terracotta plaque, was found.
- Mass-produced mold-cast and fired terracotta figurines are the Ancient Greeks’ Tanagra figurines, which were often purely decorative in function. Among a wide range of Greek terracotta figurines, which included larger and higher quality works, they were included. A large number of small figurines, often religious, were made by the Romans. In preference to stone, Etruscan art often used terracotta even for larger statues.
- From as early as the Indus Valley Civilization, Indian sculpture made heavy use of terracotta. The use of stone and metal in sculpture were rather rare. There were largely abandoned modeling for using molds in more sophisticated areas by the 1st century BC. The making of relatively large figures, nearly up to life-size, was possible as a result of this. In the Gupta period and the centuries immediately following, this was prevalent. In the present days, several vigorous local popular traditions of terracotta folk sculpture like Bankura horses remain active today.
- Terracotta was also extensively used in precolonial West African sculpture. The Nok culture of central and north-central Nigeria, the Ife/Benin cultural axis in western and southern Nigeria and the Igbo culture area of eastern Nigeria are the most recognized areas for producing terracotta art in that part of the world.
- From a very early date, terracotta is greatly used in Chinese sculpture, with and without glazing and colour. The most famous artwork is the Terracotta army of Emperor Qin Shi Huang (209-210 BC). In tombs and elsewhere, reliefs were more common two thousand years ago. Painted and glazed terracotta was often used in making Buddhist figures at later times. From the Han dynasty, brick-built tombs were often finished on the interior wall with bricks decorated on one face.