In Visakhapatnam, a pottery workshop helps participants to engage in a therapeutic experience

The ongoing wheel throwing pottery workshop is being conducted by the newly-opened Madhyamaka Studio

For Samina Ekhlas, it is the childlike joy of messing her hands with mud and creating something spontaneously that attracts her to pottery.

“It is almost therapeutic and a big stress buster. I don’t realise how time flows,” she says. Samina is one of the participants of the ongoing wheel throwing pottery workshop being conducted by the newly-opened Madhyamaka Studio at Peda Waltair.

The studio is the initiative of Chindhu Hari and her husband Rohit Vijjapu. Located on the ground floor of their house, it has three electric pottery wheels set up in the throwing room and another room for pinch pottery and hand building.

There is also an electric kiln room where bisque firing and glaze firing are done.

Chindhu gets her clay and glazes from suppliers in Bengaluru. “There seems to be a lot of interest in pottery, especially during the pandemic. Pottery has a universal appeal across age groups. Anyone can sit at a potter’s wheel and bring out something utilitarian,” she reckons, adding that she received quite a few enquiries for the workshop. Due to limited wheels, she enrols a maximum of three per batch.

An IT professional, Chindhu has always been drawn to ceramics. “I started off by going for a weekend pinch pottery course in 2018 in Bengaluru. Later, in 2019-2020, I did a course in slow pottery. Though I wanted to continue, the pandemic put a pause. That’s when we got a wheel at home and I started learning new skills on my own and continued practising what I learnt from my teachers,” she says.

Working with wood

In August this year, she along with Rohit, started Madhyamaka Studio for carpentry and pottery. “Our intention is to design and create art in different media and make it more accessible to people by way of conducting workshops,” says Chindhu.

She also wants to collaborate with local potters and wood crafters. “We’ve had some success connecting with wood workers. But we couldn’t find any potters in the city who are practising this art now. It is a sad state. We’re trying to encourage the new generation of potters to come and join us at least once a week because the skill set that they have is precious,” she adds.

In January, Chindhu and Rohit are planning a woodworking workshop with Japanese joineries. “It is a wooden building technology where grooved wood pieces are joined together to form three-dimensional objects,” says Rohit.

This will be followed by a workshop on Lino printmaking.

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