Practised across the length and breadth of the country, Pottery continues to be a timeless art that is an embodiment of India’s craft traditions. Going as far back as the Neolithic age, the styles of pottery, which have changed and evolved over time, point to the socio-economic circumstances in the region they come from. In India, various potter colonies offer an insight into this cultural craft, and here are a few pottery studios where you can dip your hands in the clay of time.
Experience the art of pottery at India’s oldest working studio pottery centre in the heart of Palampur in Himachal Pradesh. Started by Padma Shri Sardar Gurcharan Singh, today, the studio offers a three-month residential course along with short courses for tourists who wish to craft something with their hands. They provide exceptional training in slip designing technique, the art of getting colours out of the clay itself.
Clayfingers, Thrissur, Kerala
Located in a renovated traditional 1950s brick and tile factory in Thrissur, Clayfingers is a studio run by contemporary artists, potters and pottery enthusiasts. The studio also offers courses in ceramics and masterclasses in figurative sculpting. They also provide food and accommodation for those who need it. Whether you’re there for a ceramics course or just in the city, make sure also to explore traditional Kerala country cuisine offered at their Potters Cafe.
The Pottery Lab, Mumbai, Maharashtra
When in Mumbai, add a ceramics class to your weekend itinerary. Rekha Goyal, a Mumbai-based ceramic artist, started a community ceramic studio focusing on making art accessible. At The Pottery Lab, you can opt for single sessions and courses in pottery, especially throwing, which is the art of working on the potter’s wheel. From beginner classes to corporate events, Goyal offers myriad ways to make ceramics a regular part of your life.
Slow Pottery, Bodabandla, Andhra Pradesh
This slow-life-inspired pottery studio, school and shop was started by Nikita Dawar in 2017. Pick a course that caters to beginners or intermediate-level pottery enthusiasts who hope to learn more about techniques like glazing, firing, practical knowledge of recycling clay, and the know-how to set up your home studio. Dawar is also offering a 10-week slow pottery course that will be conducted in a luxury mango orchard in Andhra Pradesh’s Bodabandla.
Aavartan Pottery Studio, Auroville
After completing her post-graduate master’s in Ceramics from the National Institute of Design, contemporary ceramics artist Rakhee Kane chose to live and work in Auroville. Hoping to find the perfect balance between ancient pottery traditions and a new-age ceramics tradition, her pottery studio Aavartan offers workshops to pottery enthusiasts.