The chilly Sunday morning of 19th November, saw about fifteen odd students spread out in the A&B atrium getting their hands dirty; moulding, shaping and playing with clay as the winter sun shone through the glass doors. SNU’s very own Kalakriti hosted a ceramic workshop which was taught by Earthen Aura’s master potter Dipti Gupta. Conducted in batches of two, the students learnt of a style of pottery known as hand building where they did slab work. They pressed and rolled clay to make tiles and plates which they carved and painted with tribal motifs.
While the students made their tiles I had the opportunity to talk to the instructor and learnt about how she was introduced to the world of pottery. Always interested in the arts like Fashion designing, photography and sculpting, she started learning pottery in 2000 and got so hooked she practiced the art for 3 years in Pondicherry. In 2004 she started her own studio in Pitampura. Now she teaches there bi-weekly and even conducts workshops all over northern India on Wheel working and hand building techniques like slab working coil working and pinching. Interested parties can check out Earthen Aura’s website www.earthenaura.com for more information regarding these workshops and also to look at the beautiful pieces of pottery made by her.
The thirty students who attended the workshop were all quite enthusiastic to be there. A couple of them who were in the Introduction to Archaeology course this semester were particularly ecstatic to see this process of making pottery, which they had been learning about in great detail. I personally thought it was a peaceful and fulfilling experience to see our hands fashion simple ball of earth into something so creative and beautiful.
As we wrap up for the day a Kalakriti member tells me that the clay models will be taken back to the studio to be fired and glazed and once these ceramics come back they will be installed as a mural in the halls of SNU, a showcase of talent by the pride of SNU, its students.