Ceramic magic

Artist Vanmala Jain (54) is a graduate of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and specialised in Ceramic Design. She has taught ceramics and pottery in Mumbai for two decades at the Sir JJ School of Art, SNDT Women’s University and IIT Bombay. In 2000 she started her studio Kuprkabi at Santacruz and now runs her NGO Kuprkabi Foundation which works with women and school dropouts. Wight school dropout boys were trained by Jain in the art of ceramics and are now employed at Kuprkabi.

Jain is showcasing her latest collection of sculpture wall pieces, bowls and platters at Artists’ Centre. Titled Multiples, it features handmade pieces that have been created without using machines or a potter’s wheel.

“The process of making each piece has been highly meditative since in a day only one piece is created. The process is extremely slow as a number of small elements come together to make a creative whole, thus the name Multiples,” explains Jain.

She adds that the artworks had to be created in a single go: “Every time I started on a new piece I would pray that no emergency should happen or else I would have to leave the work half done. The technique I was using did not allow me to speed up the creative process. Thus the sizes of my bowls are varied. In fact some of the pieces have frozen in time.”

The ceramic works are inspired by her memories and longings for the green lawns, the birds and the sand dunes of Jaipur (where she grew up).

There are about 150 art pieces on display for sale and the proceeds from the sales will go to the Kuprkabi Foundation. The funds will be utilized to impart entrepreneurship training to women residing at Dharavi, Golibar, Naigaon clusters. The price range is from Rs 1000 to Rs 12,000 per piece.


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