AS we speak to celebrated potter Adil Writer about the Auroville International Potters’ Market, the ages-old distinction between the arts and crafts comes up for discussion, irking the man. “In Sanskrit there’s only one word— kala. No art and craft. This is a dichotomy the British brought. Consequently, we’ve come to a stage where craft doesn’t command the respect and commercial value that art does. You see paintings fetching big sums but ceramics won’t see that kind of money,” he rues.
He is, however quick to credit change, tracing the evolution of pottery in the country from plain monochromatic pieces to having a vibrant design array. “Everyone is influenced from different sources. Just like how you can paint in a hundred different ways, it is the same with pottery,” he says. Ange Peter of the Forest Pottery studio and organiser of the market, calls for more events to foster solidarity among artistes. “While markets like this bring us closer to our customers, the biggest takeaway has to be how it knits the entire potters’ community together,” she says. The market, in its third edition this year, has over 30 potters, including studio artistes and local potters from adjoining regions taking part.
Running through the itinerary for the three-day-market, we bring you some of the designers and their works to look out for, and everything else you can put on your to-do list at Auroville over the weekend.
Pottery from Rs 50 onwards. Entry free. January 26-28.
11 am-6 pm at the Visitors Centre, Auroville.
Details: 0413 2623101
Just beat it
Catch the likes of Edward Maya, Ma Faiza, Bandish Projekt and
others as they bring the night alive at Electro Storm, Pondicherry’s biggest EDM festival this year. Head to Ashok Beach Resort from January 27-29. Rs 1,000 each day. Details: in.bookmyshow.com
On a high note
Tired at the end of a long shopping spree? Sit back and relax with The Funky Side of Life performing at the Jazz Cafe on January 28. If you’re up for some theatre, catch Monkey and the Mobile at Adishakti Theatre. Entry free. 7 pm. January 28-29.
“Pottery is always an individual act, it represents your influences and each piece is distinct,” says Ange Peter, founder and organiser of the Potters’ Market. With a distinct Japanese influence to her work evident in her Haiyu slipware pieces her studio, Forest Pottery brings both functional and aesthetic pottery to the table. Expect her famous tea cups in addition to sculpted artefacts and jewellery, bringing together imported Chinese porcelain and 18-22k gold for a regal finish. Rs 50 onwards depending on size and material.
Set for her second market, Rakhee says, “I have pieces that use the naked Raku technique—a spin on the Japanese Raku—
whereby the pieces are not glazed.” Delicate as they are, they are better used as artefacts than functional ware and reflect the NID graduate’s strong bauhaus philosophy inspiration. Don’t miss small claywork by Rakhee’s mother as well, with a rich use of colour and form in a range of items from utilities to showpieces. Rs 50 onwards for the smaller products. Rs 4,000 onwards for the bigger sculpted pieces.
The rise in demand for pottery in the country makes this architect-turned-potter a happy man. “We are known for our happy glazes so there will be two palettes in my stalls — a blue-green one and a bottle green one,” says Adil, founder of Mandala Pottery at Auroville. Besides his regular functional pottery, look out for his soda-fired pieces, with plates, cups, vases and other items up for sale. Keep an eye out for his signature red smear from his famous Red Dot Series which also features in his collection for the market. Rs 500 onwards.
Drawing from the country’s folk traditions in her work, Sabrina works with porcelain inlay. “I make a groove on the cup with a needle after which I apply porcelain and scrape off, leaving an inlay. These are mostly not glazed, so that the original brown colour of the cup stays,” she says. Her collection, which includes coffee cups, vases and a few sculptural pieces, carry a predominantly blue-brown colour palette, she points out. We like her kutchi tumblers with their geometric glazing. Rs 50 onwards depending on size.
— Lavanya Lakshminarayanan