The past 6 months has been a different creative process. From the usual putting together a large number of pieces from a unique puzzle, this time around it has been unusual. I joined a studio pottery class with Ceramic Artist Rekha Goyal. She has a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts, JJ School of Art, Mumbai specialising in ceramics and a Masters Degree in Art in Architecture, London.
The first few classes had me making a complete mess of the clay. Never having worked with the medium before, it required a bit of adaptation. The coil technique is the first one that you learn. This involves rolling out coils and piling them up together. Simultaneously molding it into the shape that you want. My least favourite technique! Laborious and so difficult to get the desired result. The next technique you learn is hand building. This was exactly like playing with play doh. You roll our shapes and piece them together.
Lastly, the most exciting, working with the wheel. In the basic level I didn’t get much practice on the wheel. So I joined again to do the advanced level. All set to practice only the wheel. I fell in love with it, I could sit there for hours just going from one piece to another.
2 legendary ceramic artists whose work I learned about through Rekha Goyal are Gurcharan Singh & Ray Meeker. I will showcase their work very soon. Gurcharan Singhs’s son, Mansimran Singh & his wife run, Andrettas Pottery & Crafts Society in Himachal Pradesh It is perfect for someone who wants some solitary time amongst nature and at the same time learn a new skill.
Ray Meeker along with his wife Deborah run a studio near the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in Pondicherry. So the next time your visiting the Ashram, definitely check out the studio.
Photographs courtesy Design Pataki & Rekha Goyal.