Pottery has been flourishing in India as an art form since the Lahuradewa settlement. It is a part of the country’s ancient history. With changing times and reduced demand for clay products has been declining, since people prefer glass and steel products. However, the Central Village Pottery Institute of Belagavi, Karnataka is a government-led initiative to revive this beautiful form of art. As per the report by Times of India, the only pottery school in the country has seen an influx of women students.

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Recently, women from various other realms of life have started joining the small school so as to unleash their creativity. It provides an opportunity for people to learn craftsmanship. Ten women have enrolled for the four-month-long master potter course for 2019-20. Out of them, eight are reportedly highly qualified and have left their jobs to become an artisan for a living. Moreover, two of them have completed the course and are aspiring to become self-dependent by setting up their own business.

pottery
Women working in The Central Village Pottery Institute

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • The Central Village Pottery Institute is the only pottery school in the country
  • It is reviving the lost art of pottery
  • This year marked an influx of women students leaving their high-paid jobs
  • Most of them wish to be entrepreneurs and turn suppliers to the terracotta market

Apart from wheel pottery, the students also learn other methods of traditional coiling, such as slip-casting, pressing, jigger, and jolly. The courses range from 2-3 days in duration to a year in duration.

About the Institute

The school, situated in Khanapur town of Karnataka, functions under the Khadi and Village Industries Commission since 1963. It offers courses to attain expertise in moulding and baking clay utensils and artefacts. Furthermore, over the past few years, it is imparting training in designing terracotta jewellery owing to its huge worldwide demand. Apart from wheel pottery, the students also learn other methods of traditional coiling, such as slip-casting, pressing, jigger, and jolly. The courses range from 2-3 days in duration to a year in duration. Added to this, financial assistance is provided to students belonging to SC/ST and North Eastern states. In order to raise the enrolment ratio, the institute offers free lodging facility as well.

Nagesh Govardhan, the assistant director of Khadi Village and Industries Commission, proudly states that this year has seen a large number of students having degrees in various fields, unlike earlier. He gives the credit of the institute’s success to the principal, Prabhakar S.

Pooja Chalannavar had secured 26th rank in the All India Entrance Exam for MSc in agriculture, rejected various job offers for an assistant professor to become an entrepreneur, instead.

Students’ Accounts

TOI interviewed a few female students enrolled in the course. They belonged to varying fields but share a common interest, which is, in the art of pottery. Pooja Chalannavar had secured 26th rank in the All India Entrance Exam for MSc in agriculture, rejected various job offers for an assistant professor to become an entrepreneur, instead. Pooja’s aptitude for wall painting and drawing, piqued an interest to learn pottery. She wants to establish her own business in her father’s agricultural land to meet the demands of the cosmopolitan terracotta market.

Sujata who is a DPharm is learning pottery to set up a business with her husband as she thinks that it would raise a sustainable earning for them apart from being creatively fulfilling. She’ll be setting up a pottery unit at Desur in Belagavi. Deepa Shivaji Sonaji was employed in an IT firm but left the job for the four-month course. Since its completion, she has been running a terracotta jewellery business from her hometown. She never sought peace in the software industry which became the prime reason for leaving the job. She told the national daily that jewellery-making brings her great joy.

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Image Credit: Times of India

Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV   

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