Are you bored sitting idle at home during the lockdown days? There are hundreds of ways to make the lockdown days productive and interesting if you have a bit of artistic flair. Gleena Rolly, a native of Thrissur, says that it is easy to build a miniature grotto at home to celebrate the spirit of Easter. She adds that the idea struck her when she was taking a stroll in the backyard and noticed the small mettle stones that were brought for construction.
The first step is to choose the perfectly shaped stones. Wash them well and dry under the sun. Cut a card paper, which is quite thick, in the shape of a disk that is proportionate to the size of the grotto. Fix a small object that has flat surface in the middle of the disk. This is the stand on which the icon is fixed in the end. The mettle stones are then pasted on the card paper using adhesive, in circular shape, to make the foundation of the grotto.
Now build the rest of the grotto by pasting the stones. To make the frame for the arched front side of the grotto, a thick yet foldable cardboard paper could be used. A cardboard arch is attached in the back as well, to make the structure sturdy. Stones are then pasted in the shape of the grotto, covering the cardboard arches as well.
In the second stage, the gaps between the stones could be filled by fixing smaller stones. Paint the structure using black fabric paint. After this has dried, apply a coat of varnish in matte finish.
Some may feel that the natural look of the stones may be lost by painting them black. So, you could skip this step and directly apply the varnish. While making the grotto, one should be careful that the adhesive (anabond, flex quick) does not stick to your fingers or palms. Make sure that children are not around while working with these. A mask and a pair of goggles too should be used while using the adhesive.