Thrissur, Dec 10 (IANS): For those interested in realistic life-size models of elephants -- a quintessential part of Kerala, Thrissur holds the answer as a group of four youths here are engaged in creating such realistic made-to-order artworks.
With five such art-works to their credit, the group is in the process of creating more. The fifth one has just been delivered to a temple near their residence in Chalakudy for Rs 5 lakh.
Prasanth, Jobin, Jinesh and Santo -- all close friends in their late thirties -- have decided to turn their passion into profit.
Speaking to IANS, Prasanth stated that for long, they had been toying with the idea of making a realistic elephant which finally became a reality five years back when they made their first model, albeit a small one.
"We then injected realism into it and decided to go for a normal size elephant and planned to make one over 10-feet tall for a living touch. It was a success and since then, we have been improving upon the art. The most recent one which has just been delivered has moving ears, eyes, tail and trunk," said Prasanth.
It takes about two months to complete the work on one elephant, headded.
"A 10.4-feet tall elephant weighs about 800 kilograms and the major weight comes from the pipe frame structure. About a 100 litres of rubber latex is used besides sponges and other mechanical devices for the movement of the eyes, ears, trunk and tail," added Prasanth.
Currently, they have six orders of which three are in various stages of creation.
"Our workshop has space only for three models. Every day for two hours, we work on our product as Jinesh and Santo are employed at the Apollo Tyres unit near here. We have two others helping us at the workshop," said Prasanth.
The elephants, he said, can be placed both -- indoor and outdoor--. But since being out for very long might damage the models, we have the placed wheels so it can be shifted around conveniently when needed.
"Our next challenge is to design elephants with moveable limbs as many prospective clients have demanded. We are already working on it and hope to achieve it shortly," added Prasanth.
Most of their clients, he said, are resort owners who insist on heavy and sturdy models which can withstand the weight of five people.