Studio Ceramics and Pottery in All Splendour
By Aswathi Krishna | Published: 27th December 2013 11:09 AM |
Bijendra Mahli came all the way from Jharkhand not only to display his ceramic products but also to make the people here aware of the scope of studio ceramics art and pottery.
A gold medallist in ceramic and design from Banaras Hindu University, Mahli says Kerala is yet to explore the scope of ceramic products, in spite of having all the infrastructure facilities. According to the experienced artisan, Kerala still clings on to terracotta products and rarely experiments with new media. Studio ceramics and pottery are never industrially produced. The output is created through the potters action on the mixture of raw materials. Explicating on ceramic production he says, “The first step involves mixing of raw materials like China clay, fire clay, feldspar and quartz. Before getting the final product, around 10 steps are be covered. Huge flower vases, ranging from `350 to 4,000, have many takers.” Thanking his wife Minu Lakra, a faculty in the Physical Education Department of Banaras Hindu University, he says, “She gave me support to follow my passion. There were times when I used to spend days conducting researches to probe more on the art. Giving no room for complaints she stands by me,” he smiles.
“Though I have conducted several exhibitions in Ernakulam and Thiruvananthapuram this is the first time I am coming to a craft village which is lovely for its bucolic setting,” he says. Since the work demands utmost concentration and passion the ambience is suitable for a studio ceramic artist to work,” he says.
“Unfortunately, here in Kerala, I hardly find any studio ceramic artist who passionately follows the work. It can be taken as a hobby as well as a profession.”
Awards and accolades are not new to the artisan who has already been bestowed with the Best Designer in State Company Award and the Harishchandra Naw Pratibha Samman from Varanasi. “We want such a wonderful artiste’s service here at Sargaalaya. Hence we have requested him to be an artisan here,” says general manager of Sargaalaya, T K Rajesh.