So well, I have been a closet potter for close to three years. Not many know my love affair with clay and it is only now that I have been feeling a bit more confident of shaping it. Like I have confessed many a times I love to dabble in various things and though my father has always been confused as to my most recent shenanigans and wonders why I cant focus, my hubs and mum are ever encouraging me.
To let you in a secret, before I started my journey with clay I hadn’t had any experience nor a friend doing pottery, my reference point was the movie Ghost and that very erotic and romantic scene by Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze the teenage me’s heartthrob (sorry SRK you weren’t around then). So with stars in my eyes I walked into Delhi Blue Pottery studio at Safdurjung and got enrolled.
Thankfully between my enrolling and joining they had switched to electric wheels else my romance would have ended before it began. Since I was recovering from that dreadful Chikungunya (no it doesn’t happen cause I feel “harr bhook ka ilaaj chicken..”). I am very filmy ji.
Anyways, my first session was about wedging the clay and well it didn’t look anywhere close to what I had imagined. Post this came centering a 500 gm lump of clay and if I say it was a struggle I would be down playing it. The studio full of veteran potters at the time centering 5 kgs of clay made me feel pottery challenged. On the flip side the elation that came with a perfect centering was no less than having done fateh on Mars. Just when I used to think now the toughest deal of the process is over; and would be beaming at the tea break came another challenge. From centering to pulling a cylinder 7 inches for 700 grams was back breaking and took me more than 6 months. Well I definitely was a slow learner where pottery was concerned and the frustration levels would mount with each disappointment, the teachers at the class kept my morale going with their wit and encouragement. I kept at it and slowly learnt how to throw a decent piece. My first piece was still a tedha medha vase but what the heck tedha hai pur mera hai.
Sometimes even I am surprised at myself, no hobby has lasted me this long and the passion and thrill grows with each well crafted piece. The thrill of putting your hand in a sack of clay, wedging, pulling, trimming and decorating each piece has a story to tell and is born out of love. Heart rates increase with each firing bisque and glaze and prayers are fervently offered to kiln gods that the piece comes out unscathed and unbroken. The joy at the end of it all is unmatched and proudly displayed at home with lengthy instructions to the maid to not touch it. Hahah an interesting anecdote, when I proudly showed off my first piece to the maid at home, she was astounded acha bhabhi aap mitti ka kaam karte ho, chalo iss baar mere liye karwa chauth ke liye karwa aap banana…I faint.
So now when I participate in a fair and someone buys my piece, there is elation of selling and a lot of satisfaction knowing someone actually shelled out money –ultimate compliment but also a bit of weird inexplicable sadness too at times. However, the best part of selling them is that it gives you an opportunity to create more and still yet more. I leave you with this:
(both the pics are taken from the internet and used here)