Savithru is a young pencil carving artist who is only 27 years old but has his achievements beyond. The name Savithru means “sun” in sanskrit. His family deity is Sri Nalla Kathayi Amman. He completed his fashion technology in PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore and took up pencil carving out of his own personal interest. The passion towards sculpting, involvement in social and cultural activities and self learning demeanor racketed him towards this art.
Savithru began his interest with wood, soaps, stone and finally found his uniqueness in the pencils. He chose pencils as they were easy to gather, personal to work on and involved less investment. He said that the movie “Naan Ee” has given him the idea of pencil carving while he was already working with stones and soaps. Savithru works with pencils of various sizes starting from 2mm to 5mm. The 5mm pencils are preferred for full figures. There were times he worked with many pencils joined together to bring out larger art pieces. The most interesting fact about Savithru is that he is self taught. Tanjore being his native, the sculptures of periya kovil have triggered the sculptor in him. He began with soap, wood, stones and then found his uniqueness in the pencils.
“Pencils are easy to procure, unique to work with and involve less investment. The less investment makes my work decide its value. Sculpting is all about adding value to anything, be it a stone, a piece of wood, or a pencil. However I’m comfortable making sculptures with any material provided. I have even worked with the wooden pieces of the pencils.
Savithru makes fine pencil carving without the use of any 3D machines or gadgets. He understands the image, creates a mental idea, assumes the structure and makes the sculpture. That’s how he makes things happen to his pencils. He is presently working on making gold miniatures just as he makes with pencils, with a gold merchant Shri. Uma Shankar of Coimbatore. They are the perfect choices as gifts.
Savithru makes around four sculptures a month. He said, “sculpting is one thing, but selling the piece of Art you made is the toughest decision to make as an artist. The piece that we make becomes a child of ours. Selling the same would feel like losing a child. There are instances where I have kept sculptures for myself without selling them. They are very personal to me. The rate fixing becomes a trouble too. The price of my carvings is proportional to the amount of time spent on the same.”
“My first ever pencil carving was the statue of Budda. The outcome has impressed my friends and family which inturn gave me the courage and confidence to take on the road of sculpting. The interest has grown day by day and I have made many extraordinary and interesting pencil carvings. One such make was the cannon that really fires. Similarly, I have made a dragon that breathes fire, a functional see-saw, a swing with a kid etc…”
Art takes time. And hard work, according to Savithru, will never go to waste. A sincere advice from his friend Nandha on perseverance and hard work helped Savithru on his initial days of pencil carving. “In the beginning, I used to break a lot of pencils. I was impatient as a beginner and never gave enough time to my carvings. Any art would demand time and it is only right to give the time it deserves. It is the lesson I learned the hard way. Some sculptures take longer than usual. The Carving of lord Muruga took three weeks time to make as it involved lots of curves, layers and precisions.”
“Every person is an inspiration. There is always something to learn from anyone. The Indian based social media sculptor Sachin Sanghe, who makes sculptures from chalk pieces, is my inspiration. He met our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi in person and presented his work of art. The Prime Minister in return has tweeted about Sanghi’s work. That tweet inspired me so much.”
Even though the journey of this young sculptor began at a young age, the pursuit of taking it as a career has begun over one incident. During his college days, he presented one of his pencil carvings as a memento to the chief guest of a function. He stated, “the recognition I received after the presentation from my parents, professors and friends gave me the courage to take pencil carving as a career.”
“The next generation children are not taking art seriously. Art is most often seen as a money plant. The involvement is less that they are not ready to take risks in their pursuit. The purpose of art is lost. Art for life's sake has become Art for money's sake”, worried Savithru. Any artist has two options to opt from. An artist can either stay as an artist or can become an entrepreneur. I am finding a way to balance the both. The opportunities for the young artists are vast these days with the coming of the internet and technology. I am currently working towards converting my art pieces into NFTs.”
The carvings of Savithru were placed in the affordable art fest conducted in a museum in Goa. One of the art pieces that were presented was sold for sixty thousand. It was the pencil carving of the poses of Surya namaskar. Savithru stated with pride, “it is only our duty to develop our skills everyday and not to worry about the results, as told in the Bhagavad Gita. If we work on our skills, the opportunities will come to us automatically.”
Savithru was also patriotic in nature. When asked about his favorite sculpture of his own, he, without a second thought, told me about the sculpture of 36 freedom fighters. “I made that sculpture to promote peace. It is the sacrifice of our freedom fighters that gave us this life. It is a huge question whether we are living up to it”, Savithru brought an end to the conversation with a patriotic note.
Art is an immortal force that evolves in every age, taking new forms and finding new ways of expression. Pencil carving is one such mutation to the ever living art of sculpting. Young artists like Savithru will become the hosts for its evolution in every age. TheVerandahClub.com wishes Savithru great success in his each and every endeavor.
Vigneshvaran is the special correspondent of the company. He is a graduate of English Literature who shows great interest in analyzing various practices followed in Sanatana dharma. He is a practical person with a curiosity to learn everything by experiencing. He is also a staunch nationalist and writes poems both in English and Tamil. Vignesh also is an excellent orator.
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