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Miniature art from waste

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DEFT HANDS: One of the miniature art pieces created by Muppedathi.
DEFT HANDS: One of the miniature art pieces created by Muppedathi.

Staff Reporter

Bangalore: He likes to work with things that are delicate and fit in the palm of one's hand. He has made a model of the Eiffel Tower with rice, miniature idols of gods and goddesses with chalk and candle, rings with staple pins and bangles with straws.

A.T. Muppedathi, a civil engineer, has been making miniature sculptures for the past 10 years. "My friend told me about an artist who had made carvings on a piece of chalk. I just tried it out and thought of working on it more. That is how I developed interest in miniature art and sculptures," he said.

Mr. Muppedathi, who now works as a site engineer in Bangalore, said that it took him 44 hours to make the model of the Eiffel Tower with grains of rice. "I used to get back to making the model after a hard day's work. All I used were grains of rice and adhesive," he said.

He said he now made miniature art his hobby. "There is a saying in Kannada "Kasadalli rasa," which roughly translates into meaning making art out of waste. That is what I do. I use nondescript things to make my sculptures," he said.

Mr. Muppedathi said that he had tried to recreate the beauty of Coutralam Falls by using semolina, mustard seeds, green gram and rice.

"I have made use of egg shells, straw, matchsticks, 0.5 mm graphite lead, soap, and plaster of Paris to make miniature sculptures," he added.

"I have also participated in quite a few radio programmes. I have taught a few children to make miniature art," he said.

Mr. Muppedathi said he was now working on creating a miniature book of Thirukkural written in the mirror script. "I can write Tamil in the mirror script. However, I am not very comfortable with writing English in the mirror script," he said.

He said that this was his way of making a mark in the world. "I hope that people recognise my talent and work," he added.

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