Pottery tales from Thomas

Thomas Louis’s studio in Goa is a world of out-of-the-box pottery creations — underwater ecosystem to musical instruments swim gracefully in it

Published: 26th November 2021 07:07 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th November 2021 07:07 AM   |  A+A-

Express News Service

KOCHI: Nature has found its home at Thomas’s ceramic design studio. The idyllic space flaunts quirky designs of cats, birds, manta rays, hammerheads, starfishes, and all the gems of the ocean. Thomas The Potter design Studio in Fontainhas, Goa, owned by Thomas Louis who was raised in Kerala, took shape when he became a full-time ceramic artist 20 years back. A graduate in Ceramics Design from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Thomas has practised pottery in several cities before finding his peace in Goa. 

“I began sculpting when I was in Class VI. I was always surrounded by people who supported my creativity,” says Thomas. His ceramics reflect the patience and perseverance this artist has maintained over time. Platters, cups and pourers, bowls and tiny artefacts are handpainted by Thomas and they reflect the world around us — the sea, animals, birds, and leaves. “There is no specific reason why I choose to feature the sea in most of my creations. I just enjoy doing it,” he adds. But each time he features a marine creature or an element from the deep blue sea, he manages to make it look different from the last one. 
Soothing sombre tones

The handpainted artefacts from Thomas’s studio are simple, but they add a certain soothing aesthetic beauty to your interiors. Thomas claims to have acquired the style with practice. “These things happen to me quite serendipitously — every line and curve,” he says. 

School of fish, corals and starfishes are in demand as wall installations. The intricate strings of a jellyfish, ridges on a coral reef, the glow around a manta ray — each detail is included in Thomas’s visualisation with utmost care. When put together, Thomas’s creation form a sea of its own.  

Reflecting realities

Thomas’s handmade ceramics take a peek at the political context in the country too, occasionally. In ‘Cabinet ministers’, I made politicians into puppets in a cabinet. I added a bunch of sheep to the frame to depict those who follow them blindly,” says Thomas. For Thomas, the material clay, being a receptive one, is best for his experiments. However, his expedition with functional potteries is also a continuously evolving process.

He even made musical instruments in the process. His studio has Udu, a plosive aerophone from  Igbo of Nigeria, in different shapes. He has also made unique speakers shaped like a gramophones. Now, Thomas is working on setting up an Indo-Korean show, where ceramic and glass artists from across the country will be featured. 



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