This man from Karnataka has got Amitabh Bachchan and Sachin Tendulkar talking about him!
When we were students, chalk and blackboard were probably the least fascinating things in the classroom. But not for Sachin Sanghe. While still in school, he began taking an interest in chalk carving. Today, this techie is a self-taught chalk artist and calls his art ‘chalkruti’.
This art has helped him to live two of his dreams: meeting his cricketing idol and namesake, Sachin Tendulkar, and winning the appreciation of Big B himself!
Exploring numerous themes
Using just a dissection needle, Sachin transforms pieces of chalk into miniature art pieces. He carves deities, famous monuments and cartoons, and also explores more reflective themes such as relationships and patriotism.
The initial years as a beginner
Born in Mudugere, a small village in Karnataka, Sachin had no formal training in carving of any kind. But years of patient practice have helped him perfect his skills. He says, “Initially I carved letters on chalk, and later I began gluing them together to carve portraits. I couldn’t dedicate time to practice while I was studying engineering. However, once I got a job, I resumed. I carved a miniature of Mahavira, the last Tirthankara of Jainism. That boosted my confidence, and after that there was no looking back.”
A passion for carving
Miniatures take anywhere between 3 to 4 hours for simple carvings and 6 to 8 hours for those that require detailing. The really complicated pieces have taken Sachin between 30 and 80 hours. He says, “Most of my works are single-attempt outcomes. Of the many things I’ve carved, the miniatures of Kittur Rani Chennamma, the famous stone chariot of Hampi, Goddess Durga and the Statue of Liberty have been the most difficult ones due to their structural complexity.”
Sachin’s parents, who are agriculturists, are very proud of his work. He says, “I love seeing their amazement every time I show them my latest carving. My friends and colleagues are appreciative too, which encourages me to excel and experiment.” He has recently moved beyond the medium of chalk and begun carving on pencil lead.
While Sachin keeps these carvings for himself, he displays them at various exhibitions. If you really want one, he takes orders. As this is a unique art that requires a lot of time and effort, be prepared to shell out Rs 2000 onwards.
Advice for enthusiasts
Sachin says patience and concentration are crucial if one wants to pursue this art. He identifies “handling of the chalk while carving, intuition about what part of the object needs to be carved first, and where, when and how to apply needle-tip pressure” as “the three critical elements to understand and practice this art.” He adds, “There are no short cuts. You need to practice until you get it right.”
Meeting the ‘God of Cricket’ and appreciation from Big B
Like a million other Indians, Sachin is a fan of Sachin Tendulkar. When Sachin scored his 100th ton, the artist decided to celebrate by carving a miniature replica of the wax statue of Tendulkar at Madame Tussaud’s. One year later, in 2013, he had an opportunity to meet the cricketer. And this time, it was Tendulkar who was amazed. The artist says, “He thanked me. I was happy to just meet him but he even appreciated my work. That was one of the most memorable moments of my life.”
When Sachin Sanghe posted a picture of a chalk miniature of Amitabh Bachchan, Big B not only appreciated his work but also posted the image on other social platforms !
That’s Sachin Sanghe for you. If you’re wondering what his next big project is, he says, “I always keep it a secret. All I can tell you is that I am working on something really big!”
We’re waiting, Sachin. Chalk it out soon!
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