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Tuesday, Jan 13, 2004

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Trendy terraware

Ceramic designer Manu Ananth finds clay a perfect medium to give shape to his concepts


MANU ANANTH'S creations have found a place in prestigious art stores and swanky homes. This young ceramic designer divides his time between conducting workshops and working in his studio. His down-to-earth pursuit has turned the wheel of fortune in his favour. For, few can manage to mould mud into lifestyle artefacts.

Manu developed a liking for this unconventional but commonly available resource, "because we seem to be wasting this natural treasure in our blind march towards modernisation."

He had his grounding at the National Institute of Design. `Clayful', his creative studio and craft pottery firm, is the culmination of his artistic wisdom and theoretical knowledge.


"The training at the NID exposed me to industrial techniques as well as studio pottery. I honed my baking and firing skills there and this has helped me shape Clayful," says Manu.

He shares his studio with master craftsperson Harkishan. Together they handcraft glazed terracotta tableware that is safe to store food, lead-free and can be used in microwave cooking. Not limiting themselves to household items, they also plan to extend their skills to crafting jewellery, bags, accessories, indoor planters and architectural fittings. An aesthetic exercise that will suit the cosmopolitan world without losing the `natural' touch.

Ceramics provided Manu the perfect artistic medium "because of the sensuality and immediate response that it provides in allowing a concept to take form." Also Clayful's constant innovation, improvement and infrastructural support have changed the lives of scores of unsung craftsmen.

Merging marketing, R&D and design, Manu has been turning out trendy terraware.

Manu Ananth's works are available at The Design Store.

CHITRA SWAMINATHAN

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