The tradition of pottery making is one of the very old crafts of India. Since ages it is one of the important medium through which their emotions has been expressed through this art. A bit of pottery displays the visual message in its beautiful form, shape and colour. It is of the most sensual of all arts. One gets to see such beautiful art in a huge platform called ‘Pottery town’ in Bengaluru which is a great fest to the eyes for the viewers and art critics. Pottery town as the name suggests is the best destination to find all types of clay artefacts. It is fascinating to see lots of pots, sculptures and terracotta objects which has a personal touch of the potter at one place. These clay artifacts found here has the designs that stay within the border line of traditional earthenware and native art. All the creations that are made in this town are by using mud. The mud that looks like mere grains of dust gets transformed into beautiful shapes and forms in the hands of the potters. Mud is constantly associated with one’s expression and creativity for the utilitarian purpose, expressing art and entertainment.
Pottery town being located in East Bengaluru behind Frazer town, is very close to Cantonment Railway Station. This town was born when the Government offered a chosen area for thirty years on lease to 60 potters. The creations that are made in this little town is a marvel work of art. The locality is fully fledged with pottery shops that are adjoining the potter’s house on the main roads. This town is simple yet so appealing. There are nearly 40 potter s family that are residing in this town. This profession of pottery has passed down from generations and they are all potters all through their lives. These pottery occupants are the fifth generation potters from Tamil Nadu. They are the wholesale providers of utility pots like biriyani pots, curd pots, diyas, vases and fancy decorative items that are either sold or rented for occasions like weddings, parties etc. There is also a modest outlet of several creative clay ware like designer items, customized show pieces, mouldings etc. Also sometimes the orders are taken from the clients for creative artefacts. Thus it stands certainly the town that is worth a visit.
The other fascination of the pottery is the potter’s wheel. Though the potter’s wheel invention is unknown, according to the modern scholars it was developed in Mesopotamia as the potter’s wheel of stone is found at Mesopotamian city that dates back to 3129 BC. It is actually the joy of making delicate clay artefacts by spinning/rotating the potter’s wheel. Though pottery is a profession for many but it is also chosen as a favourite enjoyable hobby more often. Here in pottery town the potters are found moulding their products throughout the year according to the season like Ganesh idols made for Ganesh Chaturthi festival, diyas are made for Diwali festival, utility pots are made for the Pongal festival and birds nest, piggy banks etc. It always thrills a commoner to see a ball of clay turning into beautiful diyas and pots here. The diyas and the small candle holders made during the month of October-November are in large quantity that are kept on the balconies, in front of the potter’s house and on the sidewalks awaits to get sold for Diwali festival. These diyas are not only organic but it also provides great satisfaction to one’s creative side. The potters in Pottery town effortlessly create various shapes and sizes of diyas within few minutes by throwing the kneaded clay on the potter’s wheel. Making of diya or any clay artefacts follows three major steps: that are moulding, drying and painting. Depending on the clay type the preferred diyas are made. Before removing the moulded diyas from the wheel, many patterns and designs are made using design files. Then the articles are dried and fired in kiln. There are nearly 300 varieties of diyas/lamps are made, some with decorations and some are retained plain as well.
Some potters like Rajashekar and his family, Chandrashekar and his family, Venkatesh, Purushotham, Gopal, C.Sunitha gets the huge business for Diwali festival. These are some of the potters who have pursued their diploma in pottery. When interviewed they displayed their books filled up with the orders for diyas for Diwali festival. The orders for diya making are taken in bulk and nearly 300 varieties of diyas are made in Pottery town. These potters gets the orders from IT firms, multinational companies and home makers. Whole of the Pottery town gets the mud from Chikka Tirupati and Hoskote regions. A load of mud consists of 2.5 tons costs INR.8,000. According to the potter’s requirement, sufficient mud is imported to Potter’s town of Bengaluru. According to these potters they make profit of INR.1,000 to INR.2,000 per day.