MY STORY & PHILOSOPHY
My journey into the realm of expression began with canvas and colour. Abstract fascinated me, and I always tried to discern form from the formless. This elusive meandering took me through varied forms of expression, and I found my longing expressed through the visual medium of lithograph and print. The results so produced were random and suffused with infinite possibilities.
Though it was quite a satisfying field, I was still looking for something else. From the beginning of my journey, I had this urge to mould things with my hands, to feel the medium. I never wanted my Creations to be restricted by my imagination and desired the medium to be an equal collaborator.
Finally, the search led me to Pottery. Clay gave me the freedom and the connection that I longed for. I tried to infuse this new medium with my experiences in litho and print. I mixed colours to clay and then experimented with different patterns. Though I hit upon this method out of my own accord, it was an established form of Pottery in Japan. This technique is known by the names of ‘Nerikomi, Neriyagi, and Agateware’.
I love to work on the wheel and have always been fascinated by it. In some ways, the motion of the wheel defines the very idea of eternity and life continuum. For me, clay on the wheel holds immense potential and possibilities. It is like witnessing an act of Creation, constantly changing, constantly evolving… a mortal moulded on the arrow of time: a time to take form, a time to grow, a time to attain character!
After working with stoneware for a few years, I started dabbling in porcelain. It was in many ways akin to going back to a white canvas. Seemingly contradictory properties of porcelain fascinated me; delicate yet strong, firm yet translucent… its all-encompassing whiteness gave me freedom of expressions that were constrained in other forms of clay.
Pottery has taken me on a mystical journey, opening fascinating vistas with every turn of the wheel!
Pottery, for me, is much more than an art form. It contains within a philosophical enquiry, an urge to return to nature, a yearning to retrace our steps towards our primal self. When we dive deep, Pottery becomes a medium to unravel our dreams and longings. Clay encourages and entices and takes us back to the joys of working with our hands. Pottery not just teleports us to our unabashedly carefree and creative childhood self but also unleashes vigour, vitality, and a zest for life.
Clay symbolises the possibilities of Creation. Since humans started to live in a commune, Pottery has been a constant companion. With the passage of time, the civilisations turned to dust, but shards of Pottery survived to tell the tale of those bygone eras.
An art form born out of the most basic elements of the earth: Clay and Fire; Pottery is both primitive and sophisticated at the same time. Unlike various other forms of art, Pottery has the unique ability to be entwined with our daily lives. The objects are not just decorative, a mere treat to our eyes, but their beauty and uniqueness can be felt physically whenever we hold a vase, jar, platter, or a wine glass!
The basic techniques of Pottery render themselves to the immense scope of experimentation. The most commonly used methods are:
Pinching: It is the oldest and the most intuitive method of putting clay into the desired shape. Give a child some clay, and she will pinch it into a form using her thumb and fingers!
Coiling: This process involves making clay coils and then gradually stacking and joining them one on top of the other. Or the coils can be turned into small rings and then piled into the desired shape.
Slab: Clay is levelled into a slab by either using a rolling pin or a slab roller. The slabs can then be moulded or joined into desired shapes.
Wheel Pottery: Since the time wheel was invented, it has also been used for Pottery. Artist throwing a pot on a wheel is an image most associated with Pottery!
Primarily, I work in Coloured Clay. I use all the above methods and the Nerikomi and Agateware techniques, which have their origins in Japan.