Mud and anything shaped from it has long held me in its thrall. Many people are drawn by this elemental pull, which may well be simply because we are some part earth and some part the other elements.
Fingers sunk in clay – cleaning, kneading, moulding, drawing a lump of clay upwards on the wheel, ie throwing a pot, vase, bowl or a diya, all of it is soothing and healing.(Making a pot on the potter’s wheel is called throwing)
I chanced upon an article recently that spoke of pottery being one of the best therapies ever. This seems evident somehow.
I chose to formally learn pottery because I had always loved it. It was my chosen method of spring-cleaning my own self from a certain life event which spanned over a decade leaving perforations in my psyche.
Every morning after breakfast I rode my bike 45 minutes, to the central government pottery institute and worked with clay all day long.
Coiling, sculpting, etching motifs on semi air-dried pottery, learning to throw pots on the electric wheel, month after month was almost the only thing that could absorb me fully at the time.
I made at least a hundred pieces including terracotta jewellery and continued to make more regularly over the next few years.
Power to soothe
The power of pottery to soothe while one creates it or from pieces placed around the home is immense. Drinking water kept in terracotta pots for storing and cooling cools the body and settles the mind.
Power to clarify
The entire process of creating shapely or shapeless works of art not only calms the errant being but also helps in making things simpler and clearer. The buzzing mind can make a monster out of a decision at times and this very buzzing is calmed and issues seem clearer after a day of working with clay.
Creation of beauty
All art is a creation of beauty and deeply pleasing to the creator and beholder. The lump of clay holds hidden within itself the form that we can coax it to take. The emerging forms and shapes can be gratifying beyond measure. To sculpt away at a bust, fine-tuning the facial aspect is joyful in the focus and gentle precision that is required.
One with the environment
Same as us terracotta art emerges from dust and goes back to dust easily and quickly, especially when harmful paints are not used.
Finally, what does no harm to the earth and environment is soothing to us and to recognize this would be the first step we could choose to take to better our own lot.
Sunila lived in Australia for twelve years and all over India as a child. Now she lives in Bangalore, India with her family.
She is a lecturer of Communication to MBA students and is a practising Yoga teacher.
Sunila was introduced to books by book-loving parents at an early age and devoured them at every opportunity.
Nature, music and art mean a lot to her and she loves solitude and noisy fun in equal measure. She expresses herself through a variety of creative channels-singing, pottery, sketching and writing.
Sunila writes fiction and poetry both in English and Hindi. Her debut collection of short stories in Hindi, “Nirjharr”, was published by the Karnataka Hindi Sahitya Parishad.
Poetry and short stories authored by her have been published in a variety of medium.
She is a Post graduate in English Literature from Kuvempu University in the verdant Malnad region of Karnataka, that has given the world a large number of writers and artists.
She can be reached through her FB page https://www.facebook.com/SunilaVigAuthor?ref=hl