Home Chennai Toledo artist brings new art to the city

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EVERY TIME you visit DakshinaChitra, you are treated to something cultural or handcrafted or encouraged to bring home a new skill. This season, the cross-cultural living museum on the ECR celebrates design accents, with a workshop on the Chettinad Athangudi tiles today and a week-long course on the Spanish Cuerda Seca technique, starting Monday. For the latter, they have brought down Miguel Angel Lancha Sanchez from the historic city of Toledo, though the Indophile admits he did not need much persuasion. Back from a refreshing spell on Varkala’s beaches, he hopes to head to Kodaikanal after the workshop.

Line drawings
Cuerda Seca literally translates as ‘dry rope’, though the art that goes back to the 10th century (‘‘during the Islamic period in Spain,’’ according to Sanchez), deals with lines, not rope. The surface decoration technique sees the design outlined with a resist made of manganese dioxide. Coloured glazes are filled in between the lines. Popular on clock faces, vases, jars, plates and tiles, this decoration techiniqe can be applied to any culture, shares Sanchez, 57, who has been inspired by Indian iconography in the past. Extinct even back home, it has many takers in Japan and Australia. Sanchez’s plates are covered with blooms and arabesque and geometric motifs. A plate (33 sq cm), which takes a day to make, is retailed at 90 euros.

Journey of life
Practising karma yoga in right earnest, after his many visits to India, Sanchez calls himself ‘a vehicle’, and looks forward to sharing his skills with the experimental potters at DakshinaChitra. Since this is an advanced class, participants are encouraged to bring bisqued tiles, plates and vases to experiment on.

From March 10 to 16, Dakshina-Chitra, 10 am to 5 pm. Rs. 5,000 per head. Details: 9841436149
— Team Indulge

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