KOCHI: Ceramic artist Betsy Gomez has been doing pottery since 2017. From miniatures to wall decors, this Bangalore-based Malayali artist’s one-year-old brand ‘Kaaka Pottery’ offers a varied collection of products to uplift your living space.Before trying out pottery, Betsy, a design graduate from NIFT Bangalore, was always fascinated by ancient craft. Soon after her graduation, Betsy followed her calling and decided to give the handmade craft a shot. After undergoing training as an intern at a studio in Thrissur, she became a trainer at a community space in Bengaluru. The 26-year-old was gradually carving her niche over the years. The pandemic pushed her to explore her boundaries further, and Betsy gave a new dimension to her inherent skills by launching her home-grown brand Kaaka Pottery in 2020.
“Initially I intended to do designs with ceramics. I named the venture ‘Kaaka Pottery’ as crows are metaphorically said to be problem solvers - like the story of a crow filling up a pot with stones to drink water,” says Betsy. “In my mind, the pot mentioned in the story was always a terracotta piece,” she quips.With a lump of clay, Betsy can make unique creations. Miniatures, wall decors, mugs, planters, utensils and what not! The versatile pieces are created either with the traditional hand-building technique or with a potter’s wheel. “I prefer hand-building technique over the wheel any day. The asymmetrical figures carved out of the clay have a unique beauty that intrigues me. Though it’s challenging, I create flower bowls, centre, and decor pieces at times using the technique,” says Betsy.
Though the brand focuses majorly on customisation, the designer also focuses to develop her authentic creations. In a year, Gomez has brought many new concepts to her Instagram page. Mishaps series is one of her latest. Incorporating the Japanese concept ‘Wabi Sabi’- a world view centred on the acceptance of transience and imperfection, Betsy created her unique batch of black and white shaded wall decors. “The creation was a result of a mishap. While I was practising in my studio, an asymmetric shape was formed. Usually, such imperfect figures would be discarded, but this shape caught my attention and I decided to create a few more deliberately, and it came out quite well,” says Betsy.
Another series, Penguins, is inspired by the photograph posted by Nat Geo of three penguins. “What’s interesting about the centrepiece figures is that all of them are created in different forms. Since I prefer the aesthetics of the raw, unglazed ceramics, I have tried adding a rough texture to give it a raw look,” adds Betsy.
Betsy has a minimalistic approach to her ceramics. “It is not just about the pastel shades. I also give it a quirky twist by adding pink, yellow, and bright colours as well,” she says For this ceramic artist, clay is a favourite medium. “When you work with clay you have to be conscious and focused. If you are not, your disorientation will reflect on the piece you make. Since hand-eye coordination and focus is a must, pottery has been therapeutic and has kept me sane,” concludes Betsy.