July 6, 2002 

Inspiration for the day

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Sivanandan,  Thoppuvilakath, Vedivachan Koil, Balaramapuram, Thiruvananthapuram

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Humble coconut husk is a potential medium of art in his hands.  Sivanandan of Thoppuvilakath, Vedivachan Koil, Balaramapuram, Thiruvananthapuram carves out exquisite figures from them.

After removing water and kernel from the coconut, the husk, together with the shell, is used for making figures like chimpanzee, dinosaur, mother and child, Christ, Sree Krishna, Gandhiji, Vivekanandan, Mother Theresa etc.

Inspiration for turning his attention to this field came 5 years ago when he visited an exhibition of handicrafts at Thiruvananthapuram.  He was attracted by the figure of a monkey make of coconut husk.  He bought one home and tried to make something similar.  With the help of his wife and children, he was soon able to convert his work into an income-generating venture.

Earlier, as a high school drop-out, Sivanandan had learned wood carving to earn a living.  This experience became handy when he tried his hand at husk-based handicrafts.  He uses a small chisel and blade to carve on the husk.

His wife Gomathy and daughters Bindu and Sindhu help him in preparing the husk.  His son Biju makes the plastic eyes and nails of the figures.

As he doesn’t use gum or paint on the figures, they have an innate originality and beauty of their own.  The kernel removed from the husk is sold as copra.


Courtesy:  Santhosh Uthradan, Malayala Manorama, April 2002

Contributed by: Administrator


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