Clay dreams

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Ceramic artist Anshu Dorairaj is all set to launch her new pottery studio comprising a space to conduct workshops and classes, a store, and café, on October 24 at Assagao. She shares more with NT BUZZ

CHRISTINE MACHADO | NT BUZZ

Q. Tell us more about the One Wheel Drive studio.

I had a dream to set up a vibrant ceramic and multidisciplinary space where ever I lived, to interact with other potters/artists and teach beginners. I believe in sharing knowledge and making any art form, fun to learn. Clay is very calming and soothing and in these stressed times we can all unwind. At the studio, we will be offering classes and workshops by renowned Indian and international artists, and will also display and sell pottery creations from across the country with preference given to Goan
potters.

Q. You used to have a space for your pottery work in Mumbai. How did you finally settle on Goa for your new home?

Yes, I used to share a studio with another potter and then things soured and I exited. Real estate in south Mumbai is unaffordable and this is how the idea of Goa came about. Also, I always wanted to live close to a beach and the mountains.

Q. Will you be completely based in Goa now or can Mumbaikars still expect you to drop in to conduct workshops there as before?

I shall be dividing time between Goa and Mumbai and travelling abroad to do residencies in other
studios.

Q. You have conducted pottery classes in Goa before. What have been your observations on the awareness about this art form and the pottery scene in Goa?

I conducted classes at the beautiful Museum of Goa founded and run by Subodh Kerkar. It’s an amazing place and I had a great response from locals and visiting tourists. Most people know very little about studio pottery and stoneware ceramics but are very keen to learn. The purpose of the studio is to make people aware of the process and the beauty of using handmade.

Q. What was it that fascinated you about pottery and when did you begin your
journey?

I discovered clay in 2005 in a small town of Hoboken, New Jersey, USA by the gently flowing Hudson River and overlooking the Manhattan skyline. A random open studio visit introduced me to Larry Michelotti and I joined his classes. My inspiration was the movie ‘Ghost’ with the most erotic scene between Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze. There was no looking back and I love every second of my journey.

Q. What are the challenges that ceramic artists face in India at the moment?

One of them is the lack of spaces for them to learn and interact. There is also a need for training on how to market themselves. Besides this there is a general lack of understanding among the public on how much hard work an artist puts into handmade items and the value of these items. Also, artists struggle with recognition with the middlemen/gallerias making money while they, the artists, get very little for their work.

Q. What more would you like to add to the studio once things get going and what is your ultimate dream with this space?

I would like it to be the most happening cafe-cum-restaurant with pop-ups on weekdays to break the drudgery. I want to make this a destination everybody in Goa – locals and tourists – has to visit. Once set and ready, we may open another one.

(One Wheel Drive will be launched by actor/designer Pooja Bedi on October 24, 6:30 p.m. at Hotel Astoria, Assagao, followed by cocktails and live music by Noel Clinton and
Primrose.)