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Moulding ideas in clay

`Kalakaar', brainchild of Sushma Choudhury and Indrani Singh, is an interactive pottery movement that draws inspiration from people. A look at the varied artefacts in clay and terracotta that the duo have crafted.

JUST THINK about it. Your design ideas and concepts, even your most imaginative flights of fancy expressed in clay on ceilings and as wall murals, on the dinner sets you eat from and the decorative items, which surround you both indoors and outdoors. In an age of `designed' signature individualism, where style is a fiercely protected and private area, creative expressions in clay take a `his, hers and ours' twist and shape in the interactive pottery movement started in Chennai by the young pottery duo Sushma Choudhury and Indrani Singh of `Kalakaar'.

Trained potters with great design and conceptual ideas, they however, like "to interact with people, take their concepts and put them into action — in fact, we want to provide their ideas to them! We want to make our clients part of the creative process from the very beginning...."

Their line is to give free rein to the ideas of others — be it red hot chilly ceramic tiles suggested by a client for her kitchen or a beautifully sculpted line in sculpted floral tableware for a couple with a penchant for Mughal inspired flowers.

Specialising in stoneware, earthenware, terracotta, raku, pit and glazed firing, the talented duo have great and innovative ideas of their own too. Walk into their work room and one sees the most unusual raku-fired `stone' pieces fading into shades of green or a symphony in grey, delicately conceived stoneware dinner sets, even a silk and tile mural taking shape. A stunning stoneware pot in autumnal colours makes a statement of excellence beside a vase gently touched with falling leaves. Kalakaar's very elegant and avant garde dinner sets in soft beiges fading into green are again design statements unto themselves. And scattered across the work shed are raku-fired plates and vases in vibrant colours with their batik-like lines.

Equally colourful and compelling is Kalakaar's vibrantly-glazed terracotta dinnerware line. It is also microwave oven-friendly. Right now, the two practitioners of the world's oldest creative art are brimming over with more creative ideas. Teak chairs and `peedis' embellished with raku ' lustre' tiles are being fashioned along with raku tile surrounds for mirrors and occasional tables. Giving a new dimension to clay craft are vibrantly coloured terracotta `uralis' and terracotta and silk paintings, as also a host of lyrically expressed `smoked' stoneware and earthenware pottery forms. "At our workshop, you don't walk into a limited choice of `factory' made line," say Indrani and Sushma . "Here creative ideas proliferate and take shape. Ours, of course, but above all yours...."

`Kalakaars' Sushma Choudhury and Indrani Singh can be contacted at 98400-36783 and 45681.

PUSHPA CHARI

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