BENGALURU: Smita Anand believes in surrounding oneself with art and finds its essence in everyday things she uses. She makes cups mugs, plates, lamps, spoon, pen holders and planters. She churns out functional pottery, which decks her kitchen stands.
She would display her artworks at Studio Potters Market today and tomorrow at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishat.
"Pottery lets an artist make a vessel that not only holds the potter's rendition of art, but also holds a thing or two," she says.
Getting into pottery was a chance finding for her. “While undertaking design classes in college, one thing led to another and before I could catch a breath, I had won the second place at the All India Fine Arts & Crafts Society (AIFACS) and there was no stopping after,” she narrates. Trained in stoneware clay, she continued to work with the same material with high fired cone 10 glazes.
Her inspiration is nature. She says, “The colours of the sky, the sea, the hills, the trees, they all all inspire me. There is so much beauty in a single leaf that it could put us to shame.”
She feels that pottery is a demanding profession. Selling the pieces is a big challenge, she says.
“Right from making the clay to making pots, the glazing and firing, every step is strenuous and takes a lot physical effort. After having done all that if you are very good at it or just plain lucky, you get your pots out of the kiln. And then the real challenge begins, which is to sell them. There are platforms and online options but they do not ensure a steady business. So the biggest challenge for me is to be able to sell the ware at the price it should go at,”she adds. In India, she says there is a class of people who understand the craft and appreciate and buy it; but then there is another section that doesn't see much sense in buying a mug for at `300.”
Glazed pottery is not culturally ours and hence is something new for most of the Indians. A lot of people do try it, fall in love with it and eventually accept it.
“Indians love handmade things. People love what they see, appreciate it and sometimes are amazed also, but they do not necessarily pay for it," she says.