Temple Procession

Living on the Pottery Island of Eroor

We spent one month in Eroor, working at a small-scale production pottery and living in the basement room of the company’s owner. Eroor is an inland island in the east of Ernakulam district. It has become a small pottery village and the revival of terra-cotta clay work can be accredited to our teacher Jayan who … Read more

Fort Kochi and its Biennale

Most people we met in Kerala told us to visit Fort Kochi and the Biennale so when we finished at Mitraniketan it seemed only natural to head that way. Besides Anil, the potter, had also given us a greater purpose: the name of a famous potter we needed to find who lives in the Ernakulam … Read more

‘Black Firing’, A Great Surprise

Anil is a large-hearted man, so as soon as he realised our curiosity and drive to learn all things pottery related he offered that we conduct our own “black firing” under his instruction. Anil has a small self-made raku type kiln. It is rectangular with an open top, has a grill between the firebox and … Read more

Firing the First Wood Fired Kiln

Our first experience in firing a wood kiln was at Mitraniketan’s pottery unit. It’s something we really wanted to do and hopefully do much more of because we intend to eventually build a kiln of our own and wood fire our own things. The kiln happens to be huge: with a chamber that can fit up … Read more

Making Clay the Traditional Way

We barely took notice of a large coarse rubble like mound lying opposite the pottery unit until it was time to make more clay. To our surprise this heap was the raw source of clay. We were clueless about earthenware clay preparation and still do not understand certain aspects. Early one morning, Sumalet directed us … Read more

The Pottery Team

Throwing at Mitraniketan’s Pottery Unit

We travel in pursuit of experiencing cultural influences and traditions on local pottery so that we can learn and develop through these impressions. Mitraniketan’s pottery unit is a traditional Indian pottery and one we were on the lookout to visit. The pottery produces terra-cotta wares for daily Indian life such as drinking water tanks, food … Read more

Lesson 101 in Plant Propagation

We were fortunate to be introduced to Mitraniketan and its ethos of self-sufficiency. In addition to pottery and ceramics we are also interested in organic farming so when we discovered the KVK (farm science centre) we took the opportunity to visit the facility. One morning, Mr. Marimuthu the manager of KVK, took us on a … Read more

Mitraniketan: A Self-Sufficient Project

We met Pushkaran, a retired engineer, after ending our vow of silence at the end of a vipassana course. During conversation, we told him about our pottery journey and in turn he invited us to a project, which has a pottery unit that he was sure we were going to benefit from. The project is … Read more

Palm Paradise

Varkala for the Soul

Three days after we broke our vows of silence we took refuge in paradise: Varkala. After some serious effort, we found a picturesque, solitary, cottage huddled between a coconut grove in the mangrove. We haggled a bit with the rickshaw driver “owner” and he generously agreed to a minimal amount. It was quiet and private … Read more