Bangalore Pottery Town : A Photo Essay5/15/2010 12:00:00 PM
Without a pause, without a sound:
So spins the flying world away!
This clay, well mixed with marl and sand,
Follows the motion of my hand;
For some must follow, and some command,
Though all are made of clay!"
This is what I must be singing when I finally stepped in to this small area in East Bangalore, called Byappanahalli, dedicated to few families doing pottery and popularly known as pottery town. This place is behind Cox/Frazer town and very near to Cantonment railway station. Government gave a designated area to 60 potters on 30years lease and hence the Pottery town was born. Currently 20+ families are in business here.
April 27th, 2010. A hot tuesday afternoon when I and Sandesh finally reach pottery town, hoping to take a good look at potters wheels and its turns, after a long long time. Well, I would 've had last seen it in my village only, years back if not in pictures! , and I am so keen on shooting a few pictures right now. A friend who has visited pottery town earlier had told, that 10 to 11 AM is good time to go, as no one there wakes up early and get to work. So not that early but we make it by 2 PM in the day and Well All I want, is to see is some wheels spinning.
We decide to take a round of the place before starting to shoot, and to my surprise, the town isn't bigger than one street, and a cross on which heaps of pottery of all shapes and size and types lay around. every house is a house cum shop, and the varandah or the dwar area is full of pots dried and/or freshly made and now drying in the sun.
After making a full circle of the town, and shooting a few of colorful decorative, jars, wind chimes and wall hangings made by clay, in few houses, we did a serious enquire about the wheels, as till now, no matter how much we sneaked in to houses, we were not able to find any man working and no wheel churning either. An extensive research and we found, that there are only two wheels left in the pottery town, on this date. one is put somewhere in the godown and is not in workable condition. and another one is in Ashok hotel, kept both as an exhibit and also been used for demonstration and classes of pottery, ON REQUEST. we got the potter's card, disappointingly moved to shoot other stuff whichever is left over in town.
[If you're still wondering, how are these potters making their quintals of clay go round, and get their work done, then look at the second pic above. that square mechanical box with a shape of clay on top of it is the machine use for making pots these days. had there been power, they were ready to show us some pottery, but power was gone till 4 PM and were we interested shooting an electric machine doing the job.. I dont think so.]
So the only and major interactive part of our pottery town visit was to be a guest in a family's house, who were making Ganesha and other idols were upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi Festival. The man of the house was working on putting up the idol together, and the lady, was delicately shaping up the hands and feet of the idol while, the only kid of the house was taking the afternoon nap.