By Claude Fernandes – Mangalorean.Com Team, UAE
Abu Dhabi, Jul 11: Chithra Vadival is well known in Abu Dhabi, for her skills in Porcelain, Ceramic and Sugar flowers artwork. Porcelain, Ceramic and Sugar flower artwork is considered to be one of the most difficult forms of art, because it requires immense patience, dedication, a genuine interest, and above all skillful hands that shape the flowers.
It took almost four to five years for Chithra to learn this art and to acquire the skills. Now she is in a position to prepare around 25-35 varieties of roses, alongwith other flowers like Carnations, Forget me not, Fox Glove ,Lilly, Agapanthus, Jasmine, Sweet Peas, Hibiscus, Daisies, Cape Leadwort, in different styles. According to her, of all the flowers, shaping roses is the most difficult task, as each one takes more than an hour to complete. She prepares a paste by mixing a ceramic powder, glue and some natural extracts, in appropriate proportions to form the basis and then adds the required colours. Once the flowers, buds, stems, stalks and leaves are ready, she gives a final touch with a brush, to add different shades, that give the flowers a natural look and make them look fresh and real. Porcelain flowers are very easy to maintain, as they can be dusted, washed, and repainted once in a while to give them the same fresh look. These articles can make wonderful gifts, to near and dear ones which can be displayed in the showcase for everyone to see and appreciate.
As a child, Chithra used to do painting, paper flowers, bead work, and embroidery without any formal training. It was in the year 2001, when she arrived in Abudhabi, she got a real good opportunity to enhance her skills.
In addition to Porcelain, Ceramic and Sugar flower artwork, Chithra has learnt tailoring, Japanese clay artwork, silk fabric and nib painting. Her artwork reflects her love for nature. She has been making edible sugar flowers (used for decorating cakes) on a regular basis for Delma Corner in Abudhabi. At a wedding cake exhibition held by Delma corner in the year 2004, Chithra?s sugar flowers were rated the best by the judges.
During my visit to Abudhabi Cultural Foundation I happened to see Chithra?s artwork displayed there and this motivated me to meet her and know more about her. During my first visit, the moment she opened the door and welcomed me in, the feeling was wow ? a real beautiful place. Chithra and her husband had displayed their artwork in the main sitting room, and I was forced to take my mother in law, wife and children and show them her creativity.
Whether making sugar flowers, one has to be very careful with the materials proportions. One needs to be alert and quick to mould the flowers within a short time, as once the paste dries up, it becomes very difficult to shape them. She says that those interested to learn the art need to first start with porcelain and ceramic and then move on to sugar. Chithra held her first exhibition in December 2003, at a charity bazaar in Abudhabi mall.
She owes her success to her parents who encouraged her right from her childhood, her husband Vadivel and children Anita & Swarna, who encouraged her and supported her with their suggestions. She held another flower exhibition called “Rose Garden”, at the Delma Corner, Cultural Foundation Abudhabi and continues to share her experience and talents with friends and well wishers who are interested in learning this art. Chithra is able to devote most of her time with her team members learning new techniques and mastering the art.