Pradul Sanguekar, leaf carver, thread artist extraordinaire

The exceptional artist wants to take his art form to greater heights and aims to enter the ‘Guinness World Records’
Pradul Sanguekar surrounded by his artwork.
Pradul Sanguekar surrounded by his artwork.Pic credit: Dhiraj Harmalkar

Pradul Sanguekar of Cacora-Curchorem is a master of wizardry when it comes to his artistic craftsmanship.

Unlike many gifted individuals who are restricted by external or internal forces from exploring their full potential, Pradul has made optimal use of his artistic abilities, transforming leaves, paper, stapler pins and even cashew nuts into exquisite works of art.

The 22-year-old, who works in a local hospital as an X-ray technician, has shown great interest in the arts, producing thread portrait sketches, leaf carvings, portraits of dice cubes, paintings, stapler pin portraits and the highly difficult carving of the maps of India and Goa on cashew nuts.

Pradul, who desires to become an artist using multiple media, was enthusiastic about sharing his experience and his journey so far into the world of art with Gomantak Times Digital.

Erstwhile CM Manohar Parrikar (thread art)
Erstwhile CM Manohar Parrikar (thread art)Pic credit: Dhiraj Harmalkar

Initially, he began with sketching, but soon realised it is a common medium of art. He then tried his hand at digital sketching, watercolour paintings, etc. However, it was not up to the mark and satisfactory to him.

On the birthday of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Pradul was struck by the idea of making a huge portrait of the prime minister out of dice (dice art). 

There are not many artists who take up dice art, leaving this medium open to novel interpretation. When he chalked out a plan to execute the dice art, Pradul encountered financial constraints because dice art is an expensive affair. 

Upon receiving support from the PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral, he succeeded in creating a huge dice cube portrait of PM Modi.

Swami Vivekanand comes alive in this leaf carving.
Swami Vivekanand comes alive in this leaf carving.Pic credit: Dhiraj Harmalkar

When it came to paying homage to late BJP leader Manohar Parrikar, Pradul decided to attempt something unique again. This time it was thread art. Pradul says that in thread art the string is wound around a grid of nails and from that one has to make a portrait of a person. This is a herculean task.

One fine day, while he was sitting outside his house, Pradul saw a jackfruit leaf and wondered if something artistic could come of it. Using a paper cutter, and a pencil he began working on the leaf. 

In the beginning, he failed 24 times, but he did not lose his patience and persisted. The 25th time he managed to carve the portrait of Gautama Buddha. After that, there was no looking back for him.

Skeleton leaf art is his own innovation, claims Pradul. He has made several portraits of famous personalities and sceneries on leaves.

Intricately carved map of India using a cashew nut.
Intricately carved map of India using a cashew nut.Pic credit: Dhiraj Harmalkar

His ideas did not stop there, and he went on to carve a cross out of pencil lead, which grabbed the attention of many art lovers. Pradul’s carved maps of Goa and India on cashew nuts are startlingly impressive. 

When asked the secret to learning and excelling in such diverse and difficult art forms, Pradul smiles and replies, “Patience, sheer focus and consistency are the three pillars to achieve success in any art form.”

He says, “Failures will come, and only when you work hard as an artist, you will understand where you are going wrong and will discover more methods to improve your art.”

A portrait of a giraffe made of staples held by Pradul, and Pm Modi's portrait made of dice behind him.
A portrait of a giraffe made of staples held by Pradul, and Pm Modi's portrait made of dice behind him. Pic credit: Dhiraj Harmalkar

Pradul began to carve and sketch during the Covid19 pandemic. This time came for him as a blessing in disguise which inspired him to develop the artist within him.

About his future plans, Pradul says that he wants to take his art form to national and international levels and make a name for himself. He reveals that he is aspiring to enter the Guinness World Records shortly. 

He also says he might give his dice art portrait of PM Narendra Modi to the PM during his visit to Goa in December. Pradul sees a bright future for such diverse, unique art forms, and he is aiming to make this art available commercially and teach others if the opportunity presents itself.

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