Before making bronze idols, the craftsman had to carefully study verses from
the Shilpashastra. The verses were called dhyana and instructed the craftsman on the physical
measurements, proportions, description of the deity, characteristics, symbolism
and above all, aesthetics.
This is how the craftsmen set about creating masterpieces from bronze in
ancient India What is also interesting is the guidance that was sought
from nature for modelling icons - eyebrows were modelled after neem leaf or
fish; nose, the sesume flower, the upper lip, a bow; chin, a mango stone; neck,
the conch shell and so on.
In solid casting of icons, the mould is made by giving several clay coatings on
a prepared wax model, but with a different clay each time.These convey the
contours of the model to the cast-image and are, therefore, important. The
molten alloy is then poured in a thin and even stream into the mould. When the
mould is broken, care is taken to see that the head of the icon is out first as
a good omen.