Craft in Architecture

Architectural, Interior Crafts, Clay, Terracotta, Pottery

Craft in Architecture: Terracotta Dhuris / Roof Top Covers and Kuna-pakhas / Roof Corners

In traditional Nepalese homes and temples, which are roofed with Nepalese tiles, the roof-tops are further topped with a special kind of covering called dhuris. The corners of such roofs are also fitted with specially designed roof-corners known as kuna-pakhas.

Long elevated slopes of clay that serve as moulds for the dhuris are first shaped on the ground. The potter places a lump of clay a little bigger than the actual measure, over which is placed the iron frame. The clay is spread over this – excess clay is removed by cutting it with a knife. The surface of the dhuri is smoothened with wet fingers and a wooden plank. Next, one edge of the dhuri is shaped so that it is elevated, and two wooden rods are placed on the two sloping sides so as to create a depression. After the elevated edges are cleaned – by rubbing them with wet fingers – the wooden rods are removed. The dhuri is left on the raised mould to dry. This process is then repeated. On an average, 50 dhuris can be made in one day.

To make the kuha-pakha, a squarish, pyramid-shaped mound of clay is first raised on the ground. (This mound works as the mould). The four-sided mould is covered with a uniform layer of clay of the required thickness. The potter then places an iron measure on one side of the square mound, and cuts off the clay according to the measure. The part is then smoothened with wet fingers. The next step is the shaping of the corner into a raised cock’s head. This process is repeated in the remaining three corners. The kuna pakhas are then dried. On an average, 20 kuna-pakhas can be made in one day.


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