TRADITIONAL POTTERS AND THEIR SURVIVAL
Can you look at soil and decide whether it can be moulded into a shape or not? Can you decide whether the soil is good enough to make a showpiece or should it be used as water pot or a cooking pot?... No? This knowledge comes naturally to potters who have been in this profession since generations. Others take years to learn this. And here in this blog I would like to discuss traditional potters and not the studio potters that you may have seen in art exhibitions.
So why should are we discussing about potters? We see studio pottery coming up. We also see such good ceramic work coming up these days. It should mean that pottery as an industry is growing. We find clay water pots being sold at road sides during summers… we also spot them during Diwali. So it seems to be quite a steady market. But what do the traditional potters do rest of the year? Can someone survive if they earn only one or two season in year? Yes they also sell showpieces but how many do you buy each year?
Traditional pottery market has reduced drastically over the years. Traditionally Potters who have been in this profession since years are taking up menial jobs. Among all the potters whom I have been meeting are not interested in their children joining pottery. They feel there is much more to lose by staying in this profession. Though traditionally entire family used to work now they are trying their best to keep children away from this.
Are we willing to change this? Do we respect this profession? Do we really want an Atmanirbhar Bharat? If yes, then lets begin to give these potters similar work that they used to do since generations. Let us make them feel they are doing a dignified work. Remember without them we would lose the knowledge and art to create masterpieces that can wok on gas stove and microwave too!