clay heads at maati

Its a horribly hot day in Delhi and abandoning better sense I make plans to meet my friend at Haus Khas Village. However after a 45min commute, bad cellphone reception, 50 deg temperatures and ten minutes of waiting alone, my brains were shot.

Just before I was about to loose my “cool”, sever all ties with my buddy for being a few minutes late (do not judge, Delhi summers can do that to you!), I spotted the Maati store front. What beckoned me inside was its large 'Kathakali' hand painted air conditioner.

Kathakali Airconditioner

Inside, I snagged my eye on a tray full of little clay head sculptures. ” These are cast from 200 yr old clay moulds, in Krishnanagar West Bengal. All these faces are likenesses of everyday folk who lived and worked in that area,” provided Aniruddha Saha , owner of the store.

I looked down at the little heads, wondering whose faces were peering back up at me. Local fisherman , child playing in the street , old woman siting on her front porch, perhaps? The tiny sculptures were unique in their realism, attention to detail and the fact that these were painstaking re-creations of commoners. Not royalty or wealthy patrons.However, these clay artists who once enjoyed royal and international patronage have fallen into virtual anonymity and thus are finding it hard to pursue their craft. A situation which Aniruddha Saha hopes to improve by providing us access to their craft through his store Maati.


I can imagine Krishnanagar sculptures used as an installation on an entire wall, similar to this home designed by Viya Home.

How do you imagine them in your house?

Designed by Viya Home featured in Architectural Digest, India.

Designed by Viya Home featured in Architectural Digest, India.


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  • Shibani Vig August 3, 2013, 11:16 pm

    I love that store. I just chanced upon it too because the AC caught my eye.

    • MakaZai August 7, 2013, 5:44 pm

      now if only i could get them to fancy up the unsightly Acs in my home…


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