Mangaluru: ‘Spinners of Clay on Wheel’, a unique demonstration and exhibition cum sale of traditional pottery works was inaugurated at Kodialguthu Centre for Art and Culture, Ballalbagh in the City on Saturday April 16 at 11.00 am. The event is being organised by INTACH Mangalore Chapter in association with Art Kanara Trust till Monday from Monday 7.00 pm.
In his inaugural address, the Chief Guest Gokuldas Nayak, Joint Director, Industries and Commerce Department, Mangalore congratulated INTACH on organising the event. “It is always interesting to look at the works done by artisans. The government has plans to make clusters and provide the artisans with common facilities and help them with marketing. The department is ready to work with INTACH and make this effort more fruitful,” he said.
Subhas Chandra Basu, convenor of INTACH, Mangalore Chapter said that the objective of the exhibition was to understand the status of traditional potters of Dakshina Kannada and to create a directory for all the artisans.
“Under this project, we have identified 89 potters and detailed documentation has been done for 48 potters. Each step of making the pots has been noted,” he said. He added that presently mostly potters between 50 to 70 years of age are still practicing and there are only about 5 youngsters around the age 30. Not many locals (Kulala/Moolya community) are practicing pottery and most people have migrated from Sringeri and other parts.“The artists can collaborate with potters for a more innovative approach that will enhance the value of both art and pottery products,” he suggested.
Manoj Kulal, a third generation potter from Kulai explained about the difficulties faced in procuring raw materials like firewood and soil. He urged the government to dedicate required land to the potters so that they can easily procure soil.
Jithesh Kumbara, of Belthangady who is experienced in pottery sales and marketing, said that pottery enjoys good demand in and around Mangalore, Kasargod and Kerala but the current production is insufficient. “Of the thirty potter families in Illanthila Village only three families are practicing pottery. Some of the young potters have regular day jobs and they do pottery in the evenings to sustain their living. Government had earlier spent Rs. 5 lakh for training and community workspace sometime ago, but presently there is no support,” he said.
Sindhushree undertook most of the field work for the project. Subhas Chandra Basu introduced the guests and compered the programme.