Breaking the mould with Curators of Clay: Bhairavi Naik

If we told you that someone finished an MBA course, worked in the Corporate sector for 14 years and then quit at all to become a potter, you would take it with a pinch of salt. But Bhairavi Naik did just that! A childhood inclination to pottery led her to pursuing it full-time.  A firm believer of the spiritual arts, she’s a potter who wants brings in subtle beauty and a softness to her craft. Curators of Clay is her way of showing the world the essence of artistry. Radhika Sharma caught up with the talented lady.

Pottery was a childhood fascination

“I remember 2 incidences from childhood very distinctly. One was this festival we had for little girls every July. It was five day festival and my mom used to make 2 things for pooja – grow wheat grass and make an elephant out of clay.  I wasn’t much of a help to her but I used to enjoy playing with clay. At a wedding in Gujarat, one of my aunts took me to the village potter to order some pots for wedding rituals. I remember being fascinated!   The desire to learn pottery always remained dormant. While I was working, I came across a listing in about a 10 day hobby course in pottery. I instantly enrolled in it. After a little push and tug relationship with it, I finally took it up full time after spending time in a studio facility in Goregaon. After that there was no doubt in my mind and it was just a matter of quitting the job and pursuing my dream and passion.”

Bhairavi Naik on shethepeople

The Curator of Clay: Bhairavi Naik

We strongly believe in form follows function principle, therefore, every piece of our work is crafted for daily use

Curating Clay artistically 

“I met my now business partner Rohit Kulkarni in an earlier studio where I would practice. Rohit and I would often talk about pottery and the way it is marketed in India. We felt that there was a need for beautiful handcrafted ceramics, but the options were severely limited. Another problem was the general belief that ‘handcrafted = handicraft’ is cheap and available in melas. Our endeavour at Curators of Clay is to find a place for our beautiful handcrafted ceramics in the homes of discerning and house proud people. We want our work to be loved, cherished and most importantly used.”

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Ceramics that are artistic yet useful  

” Usually art is considered only for show, seldom find use everyday. We strongly believe in form follows function principle, therefore, every piece of our work is crafted for daily use.  Customers always pleasantly surprised when we tell them that every piece is food safe, microwave friendly and oven proof.   Handcrafted items give you the gift of time to enjoy them at leisure but unfortunately our rushed lives make us forget simple pleasures of life.

Bhairavi Naik on shethepeople

Crafting handcrafted ceramics: Bhairavi Naik

Honest and passionate work always gets rewarded and money will materialise

The pieces reflect the personality

Every piece of our work is handcrafted either by Rohit or I from start to finish- including the clay and the glaze. Every piece is handcrafted therefore is unique – you won’t find its exact replica. Every piece reflects the love, warmth and our individual personality, making them unique. We like people to experience and understand our beautiful handcrafted ceramics and then take home the ones they feel drawn towards.

Also read: The Big Picture: Shefalii Dadabhoy quits corporate life to turn entrepreneur

Japanese art is an inspiration

I am also most definitely influenced by Japanese pottery and art in general. I love their approach towards art – their simplicity, the strive , the respect they show towards nature, the humility they reflect, and total immersion in art. A lot of their pottery styles are raw, organic and alive.

Bhairavi Naik on shethepeople

The Curator and her studio: Bhairavi Naik

Advice for women entrepreneurs

Women who are thinking of starting their own business, my advice is to just do it. Do your work with passion without worrying about money. Honest and passionate work always gets rewarded and money will materialise.