Factory made is perfect. Machine made goods come uniform. One dress like another. One pen like another. One toy like another. But our soapstone play set is unique. Each set comes with about 20 tiny pieces of traditional cookware. This includes the flat grinding tool(Ammikal), batter making tool(aatukal), flour making tool(Yendhiram), cookpots, stove etc.
Many of our customers buy these play sets to show their children the tools of the yore. Some of us are extremely lucky to have access to our native villages to go back in time. Whenever I visit my village, I feel like life is much more slower and patient. Food tastes better even if it is the most simple. Laughter is louder…
In a quaint village, at the foothills of the Eastern ghats, there are a couple of families that have stone vessel making as their livelihood. Once a few villages with 300 or more families were indulged in this means of living. But today there is only a mere couple of families in scattered villages across the state who pursue this as a worthy way of life. The men folk were involved in making cook pots and tawas while the women folk made oil lamps, and play sets. Once upon a time, these vessels and cooking tools were a prominent member of the South Indian kitchen. There was one Kalchatti(Soapstone cookpot) for rasam, one for gravies, one for sambar and so on. Idly, dosa batter would be stored in a Kalchatti and buried 3/4th in cool river sand(which was the fridge in old times) in the kitchen. Stone pots were prized and treasured. Even today,my grandmom would not part with her well seasoned soapstone cook pot. I have heard about many more grand moms and moms who wouldnt part with their seasoned cook pots…
Now, coming back to our kitchen play sets, Artisans who make these sets have to be slender and flexible. The reason being, these tiny pieces are carved out of small pieces of stone. The artisans, usually women, hold down each piece of stone with their foot and carve it. While using their carving tools and manipulating these stones, each piece is unique and has grains over them or lines cut over them. None of these sets will be uniform. And that is exactly what makes these sets special. Hand made and imperfect is what these play sets are. So are many of the soapstone products. Especially the soapstone curd pots, though hold the same amount of curd inside, will be of different heights and diameters. The shapes are different and weigh differently too.
Lets appreciate the hard work of another person and cherish such simple, hand made toys. Encourage these artisans by sending out a gift to a loved one.
To buy soapstone choppu set:
Soapstone Choppu Set( Children kitchen play set)
This traditional play set contains tools that were used in ancient kitchens such as the flour grinding mill, mortar pestle, dosa tawa, paniyaram kal, stove, pots, pans etc The set comes packed inside a handmade palm leaf box. Perfect for gifting..