Of mothers, daughters, teachers and students

There is something about having daughters and daughters who are students that is wonderful, as well as exhausting.

Laxmi Puja on Diwali is done with a lot of love and devotion in all Indian homes. I suspect it also forces us to do some spring cleaning and spruce up the home. For me, having my daughters transformed into sari wearing beautiful women is the best.Though Uttara (the younger one) does ask ‘Why can’t I be in jeans? Why do we have to dress for her? (Laxmi) Aren’t we the Laxmis of the home?’ Yes dear, but we must appease the gods from year to year.

One student, Inzia a delightful and sometimes exhausting student, all of 12, certainly reminds me of Ketaki and Uttara, my daughters. She has been learning pottery from me since the studio was started. From the beginning she has tried to work summers with me and was amazed that there is something called ‘Child Labour’ which is against the law, but  has negotiated inheriting the studio when 18!

Here are some images of her work she is showing this weekend.

Inzia with her mother Iffat

Inzia is exhibiting her work this Saturday, April 21st at Wind Chimes, Bhalla House, opposite St. Andrew’s Church, Bandra, Bombay.

Stop by and see her work!


Why clay?

‘Earth to fire, a serene interactive studio tucked away in the lanes of Khar…’ is how I like to describe my studio. As I had said in an earlier post it has given me an opportunity to meet some wonderful people. Saturdays are the busiest days with working adults making their way here for some much required relaxation.

Amitabh Jha is as passionate about pottery as he is about yoga and karate. His 11.30 saturday morning slot was fixed for two years and he made his way through some interesting pieces. It is a huge compliment to us at the studio that his passion for ceramics has translated into him setting up a small studio at home. Here are a few thoughts he shared in his ‘exclusive interview’ with us.

ETF: Why clay?

AJ: It’s a happy medium that allows you to create on your own time and imagination

ETF: Describe Earth to Fire in five words.

AJ: Joy – what I bring
Laughter – what I bring
Sensibility- what anu tries to bring
Matchbox – after all it is earth to fire
Serenity – what the space brings

ETF: Most hilarious Earth to Fire moment.

AJ: Anu explaining the the process of making pieces to new comers…The dialogue is still stuck in my head !!!

ETF: When do we expect an invitation from Christie’s for your auction? 🙂

AJ: They have already approached me !!!

ETF: What is your favourite piece?

AJ: The pieces are many, but they are the first ones I made that I treasure most !!

Amitabh faking his age 🙂

One of Amitabh’s earliest pieces

Fishy Tales

There is something about watching fish in an aquarium that is so calming, unlike watching them in a fish bowl. Like seeing a beautiful ballet performance.

In India the Bengalis and the Parsis consider fish very auspicious. One of Lord Vishnu’s avatars was the gigantic fish named Matsya, something I discovered while reading to my little niece Midori (the rewards of being a good bua/aunt).

Most potters the world over have used the fish motif at some point in their works. At my studio these bisque fish bowls and plates are one the most popular pieces that clients like to paint and personalise as gifts.

I love the fish motif and have repeatedly used it in my work over the years. Here are some of them.

Cats and pigs come a close second but more about them in a later post.