Portraits with chalk

Portraits with chalk

A chalk carving of the asanas in Surya Namaskar

For 30-year-old Sachin Sanghe, chalk carving is a mode of relaxation. Having taken to it 16 years ago, from making alphabets to portraits on bits of chalks put together, Sachin has come a long way. He calls this art form ‘Chalkruti’.

Hailing from Gauribidanur, now based in Bengaluru, the techie is a self-taught artist. “When I was a kid, I always had a divider, compass, sharpener and safety pins in my geometry box. I started with carving letters and then names. I gradually took to carving portraits,” he recollects.

“Back when there was no internet and no one to guide me, I had to teach myself to do everything from scratch,” he says.

Sachin Sanghe

Sachin takes about 15 hours for each artwork. He takes about two weekends to finish it. His ideas depend on trending topics. “If it is Mother’s Day, I will carve a mother and a baby. I make Ganesha if it is Ganesha Chaturthi and so on,” he explains.

When asked about his colour preferences, he says that he prefers saffron for portraits. “Saffron resembles skin shade and it looks real. Otherwise, I go with just white,” he says.

Sachin revealed that he had stopped doing this artwork during his engineering days. “It was when I joined HCL in Chennai that I resumed my hobby to pass time. My colleagues would ask me to do it often and that is how I started again,” he shares.

He has also conducted workshops on chalk carving. “Conducting workshops on this is difficult as it requires a lot of individual attention. Due to this, I have not taken too many classes,” he says.

With over 250 chalk carvings in his kitty, Sachin was invited to the reality show ‘India’s Got Talent’ many times. He refused the offer though. “I cannot finish it in two or three minutes. ‘Chalkruti’ not something which can be staged for entertainment,” he says.

Sachin started publishing his works six years ago, while he also took to sculpting lead. “Chalk is smooth, brittle and powdery and hence has scope for detailing. Lead, however, has no room for intricate designs, but it is not as brittle as chalk,” he shares.

Some of his popular carvings include Tirthankara, Ganesha, Hanuman, Durga, Gandhiji, Mother Teresa, Sir M Vishveshwaraiah, Swami Vivekananda, Shivakumara Swamiji, Dr Rajkumar, Kannada Jnanpith Awardees, Amitabh Bachchan and Rajinikanth.

His talent has also given him the opportunity to meet famous personalities like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind and Sachin Tendulkar.

“It started out just as a hobby. I never thought that I’d come this far. I’ll continue pursuing my passion; let’s see where it takes me,” he signs off.