BENGALURU: About five years ago, she was a chef. In 2010, an encounter with clay at a hobby class in Bengaluru made her switch to full-time pottery. Ranjita Bora recalls her journey from ‘making dishes, to making dishes’, with City Express.
This potter from Puducherry will be displaying her functional pieces that people can use in their homes, kitchens and living spaces at Studio Potters Market 2016 on August 25 and 26. She works full time at her studio - Golden Bridge Pottery, Puducherry.
“Having worked with food, which continues to be a passion, I now make pots that can contain and serve edibles. I’ve always liked working with my hands. Creating comes naturally. When I discovered clay I knew I had an aptitude for it. It was a natural progression from the kitchen to the studio.”
She works with stoneware clay. “It’s a formulated clay body that matures at 1300 degrees centigrade. We also use casuarina wood as a source of fuel to fire the kiln. The wood upon burning creates fly ash that settles on the pots during the firing process lending an unique effect to the glazes and the clay body,” she adds. Her biggest inspiration has been artists Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith of Golden Bridge Pottery.
While she cycles to and fro the studio, she observes the colourful patterns on the sarees and shirts of people zooming past. These influences also make their way into her work.
The potter feels being an artist is probably the toughest career one can choose. Pursuing it as a living definitely has its share of issues. She says, “A handmade artist usually puts a lot of work into his or her make, and yet is expected to compete with a lot of mass produced products and that is always a challenge. The artist community in the country is also not as mature or cohesive compared to other developed countries. The sense of sharing knowledge is not as prevalent.”
But she feels people are beginning to appreciate handmade products and there is a growing interest in ceramics playing a larger role in people’s home and living spaces. “I know some buyers who go out looking for certain kinds of pieces that they want in their kitchens and homes. There has been a change in people’s attitude towards it. More people are now willing to pay for your effort. And may their tribe increase,” she concludes.