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The earliest material to be found by man is clay Rashi Jain is into pottery making Q: What is pottery and how is it made? The term 'pottery' refers to clay pots made on the potterâ€™s wheel. There are various types of clays: Terracotta, stoneware, porcelain and bone chine to name a few. Clays that are exposed to higher temperatures become vitrified, glass-like or ceramic. Clay is not confined merely to pots. Functional pieces and sculptural works are made by simple hand building techniques. Q: Is this pottery durable and reusable? How is it cleaned? The earliest material to be found by man is clay. It is highly durable. Bricks, storing jars, cooking pots and decorative pieces from the Harappan and Mesopotamian civilizations are found intact till date. Imagine the strength of clay! Water and ash can be used to clean terracotta vessels which we cook in and glazed ceramics is just like glassware: it does not absorb water. It can be washed with soap, in dishwashers, used in microwaves and used for baking. Q: How costly is it and from where can we get it? Clay is sourced from river beds, mountains and farm lands. This is transported to urban areas and can be found at your local ceramic artist's studio or potters community. In Mumbai, head to Kumbharwada in Dharavi and many ceramic artists source a variety of clays. So, it is priced accordingly. Q: Is there actually a market for clay pottery? Can one earn a living out of this? Yes! The Studio Potters' Market at The Kalaghoda Arts Festival runs annually, which was founded by a co-potter and me in 2009. It has spread throughout the country in Delhi, Bhopal, Pune, Bangalore, Calcutta, Pondicherry etc. It provides the artists a platform to meet their buyers directly and sell their hand made creations. Ceramic artists now cater to personalized orders to restaurants, homes and commercial spaces. Many exhibit with galleries and boutiques. Q: How did this type of pottery evolve and what are the benefits of using it? Pottery is as early as civilization. It has evolved to cater to our needs, be it in the form of pots or industrial ceramics. Clay has minerals that have formed with the weathering of millions of years. These are all present in our body in different proportions. Hence, when you touch clay, it instantly connects to our nerves and calms them. It is not harmful in any way and only centers the body, mind and spirit, apart from being easily moldable. Anyone can create with clay. Q: If one is interested in learning this, where should one go? Mumbai has an increasing community of studio potters who teach in their studios, at educational institutes and corporates. It has become a popular hobby. An internet search will help identify a studio nearest to you. It has links to practicing artists throughout the country. 'Studio Karva', my work space in Mumbai, is a green get away in the city, where I conduct basic and advance sessions in pottery, sculpture and ceramics.
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