Ghurni is a place in the neighborhood of Krishnanagar West Bengal’s Nadia district. What makes it remarkable is that it is a center of production for stunningly beautiful and lifelike clay dolls. These dolls are tiny between three to six inches in height and generally capture ordinary Bengali men and women at work.
Raja Krishna Chandra Ray, king of Krishnanagar in the 18th century, was a great patron of the arts, including literature and music. He supported the production of clay dolls during his reign, bringing a large number of families of potters from Dhaka and Natore in East Bengal to Ghurni and patronizing them.
Krishnanagar clay dolls are truly unique in their realism and the supreme quality of their finish. They truly represent a remarkable breakaway from traditional clay work. Yet some aspects are rooted in age-old techniques.
The dolls are made with clay deposits from the banks of the holy River Ganges called “etail,” left over once the tide recedes. This soil is incredibly soft, and can be moulded easily into any intricate shape. The doll makers use tiny iron rods to provide the skeletal structure for the dolls, then work with delicate tools to craft the clay. When they are nearly done, the dolls are baked in a kiln, given a final coat of varnish, painted, and then costumed with miniature clothing.
Like a vegetables vendor, fruits vendor. Umbrella repairmen fixing broken handles; mending dhol, bricks maker and many more, represents cultural influential life of West Bengal.