If a person is talented, it has to surface at some point of time. This is what happened to Malini Ashok of Chitlapakkam. As a young girl, Malini loved needle work. Embroidering her skirts and blouses and doing krosha was her favourite pastime. Understanding her interest, her grandmother taught her the basics of tailoring.

Realising her deftness with the needle and thread, Malini proceeded to do a diploma in arts and became a teacher with Anchor. Her ambition took shape, as her passion for the needle work grew bigger. She opened up classes for anyone interested in handling the needle. She taught fancy and traditional stitches. The orders grew and so did the class strength. Malini has been featured in channels such as Podhigai, Raj TV and Mega TV to demonstrate her talent in embroidery.

Turning point

Malini's zeal for art pushed her into painting too. This proved to be a turning point and she moved into the fascinating world of 4D murals. “It turns on my imagination. Right from kneading the clay to shaping it into an object to colouring it, there is a lot of imagination involved,” says Ms. Malini. The first statute made by her is a Rajasthani mural – Raja-Rani. The choice of colours is very important. “It can make or mar a mural,” she says.

Having learnt the nuances of making a mural for a fortnight she practised using eco-friendly and not easily dryable clay. One needs an original piece to compare, practice and specialise.

“Touching the original, feeling the length and breadth of it and exploring its face and body will help to infuse reality into the piece that you are trying to finish,” elaborates Malini.

This way she specialised to make fruits, flowers, vegetables, sceneries from places of visit and so on.

“I am never easily satisfied with a mural piece. I always want to improvise on what I do till I get the realistic touch,” she says.

She teaches the art for children above 10 years. “Teaching is fun. You actually begin to learn the art more when you demonstrate and try to make them understand the nuances,” she opines. Small murals - fridge magnets, decorative items, wax flowers and fruits are some of her special items.

She has also learnt to make Thanjavur paintings. Gold foils, gems and wood go together in the making of Gods, Goddess, Thanjavur plates and glass paintings.

Now she is specialising in Thai flowers. They are a kind of orchids made using Thai clay. They are made to look natural in order to resemble the original. Classes are handled for this art also.

Malini has been holding workshops on all these subjects in places such as Tirupur, Thiruvannamalai, Arakonam and all around the city. She will be conducting one in Singapore shortly. She is also ready to handle 5-day or 7-day workshops for those interested. Corporate orders can be placed with her for murals.

Malini resides at Plot No 11, Thirumagal Nagar, II Street, Chitlapakkam and can be reached at 99419 02213.

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