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Creativity with clay


When a local hand moulds a Japanese pot, you can't help but sit up and take notice. The Potter's Shed, from Kodaikanal, goes around Tamil Nadu, finding traditional potters and training the most skilled and dynamic ones in the art of Japanese pottery. Soon, these potters graduate from making low yield flower pots to sauce and olive oil containers, which sell like hot cakes in the cities.

The Potter's Shed was established to help skilled craftsmen to work their magic with clay in a place set apart from the hustle and bustle of urban life. The families of the potters too are taken care of, and their children educated. All the artwork is hand made, and most of them stick to traditional designs that originated ages ago in Japan. The Potter's Shed is now holding an exhibition of clay pots at Forum Art Gallery, Adyar, the profits from which will go towards supporting disadvantaged children. Jayshree, from The Potter's Shed, says, "It was initially difficult to explain the utility of the tableware to the potters... I cannot expect a man from a village near Kodaikanal to understand fully what a butter or cheese dish is, because he has never used or seen it being used." As a result, some ingenious ways of seeing eye to eye cropped up.The prices of the pots range from Rs. 30 to Rs. 1,000 and they can be bought in sets or even mixed and matched. The exhibition at Forum Art Gallery, Adyar is on from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. today.

ROHINI MOHAN

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