Blooming Shells


     Everyone is an artist , we give shape to many things and situations in our day to day lives. Each one of us have our own perception and definition of what art is. Sometimes we just have nothing and we are positioned just to make something out of that nothing and start paving the way. Most of the time moulding situations , people and things that do not matter into beautiful masterpieces is the most respectable form of art. This week let us take a look into one such life.

          Let’s journey into God’s own country “Kerala” . all that comes into your mind is beautiful backwaters , lush greenery and lot of coconut trees. Coconuts and coconut extracts make a major contribution into the culture of this state, and a lot of fibre and shell come by as byproducts after processing . so the shells caught the attention of this artist and he started moulding them into masterpieces. You might have seen decorative items made of coconut shells but let’s just dive a little deep into their making and the life of the person who makes such amazing pieces of art.

      Dayalu, makes craft items using the coconut shells. From the past 14 years he has been into the making. After seeing similar artifacts at dubai exhibition imported from Thailand and Sri lanka he realized the huge potential of his home state and then decided to craft his own pieces.


        Being a very keen child he was always drawn towards art especially clay moulding and drawing . he also learnt photography from a very famous photographer. And then started working in Dubai for an aluminium fabrication firm , because of his inclination towards art he gave up on his job in Dubai and got into making these pieces.  

               The raw materials needed for this craft, he buys from the market nearby as a whole coconut. He buys big, good-shaped coconut for the craft. He separates the coconut shell from the coconut and moulds the coconut shell into beautiful items. First, he made ‘lamp shade’ out of this coconut shell. He finds variety in his items. When he gets order he makes items according to the customers’ tastes. Recently, he made a sculpture of ‘Lord Ganapathi’s’ for the selection of this year’s National Award conducted by Textile Ministry. He also made the item ‘Frogs and Mushrooms sitting in front of the pond’ for Coconut Development Board.

      These items are made by heating the coconut shells and it is finished by using wax, thus getting a glossy finish. The trick of making items is kept as a secret. He will not reveal the secret to others. From many experiments, he has selected his own ways to make these items. These coconut-shell based crafts priced from Rs 500- Rs 6000 and above depending on the type and uniqueness of the product.

       He is happy and satisfied with his work. His family is quite supportive. Out of the few people who choose an unconventional way of living, Dayalu is one among them . The odds might have been very much against him when he started, but as his hard work and persistence stood by him , time and fate decided to reward him with the best .


Krishna Gopika N.R.