Neha Ramaiya Of YellowSpiders Pottery Club

Neha Ramaiya of YellowSpiders Pottery Club has been giving mumbai a reason to relax and learn a new art form regardless of them being creative or not. With a desire to teach, she hopes to find and stimulate the artist in us all.

Here’s a small but very interesting conversation with her...

How did YellowSpiders come about?
After being in between a couple of jobs as an Industrial Designer, I was getting restless. The fact that I knew my material clay so well, but wasn’t being able to do much with my knowledge, was getting on me. One fine day I just quit. Thankfully the studio space was always available as it was an old house, which just needed to be reopened.

What is the process used in creating pottery at YellowSpiders?

As far as students are concerned, I have a basic curriculum for level 1 which takes them through a process of different techniques. As for my own products, I don’t yet retail. I do more of customized products based on orders. Ideas come in many forms, but most of the products work within the boundaries of basic geometry, or sacred geometry concept.

I create a lot of spherical forms. Once I have made the basic form, I get into adding details to it. Later I add various textures and coiling elements that makes most part of the designing.

How do you balance teaching and running a business?

Not all the greatly as I assume I do. I get a lot carried away while teaching. But the beauty that most of my students end up being real good friends can be seen both ways, good and a little unjust to business. I am planning to get more structured and I have been planning that forever.

What led to you to ceramics & pottery?

Some accidents mark a person’s destiny. I got into JJ School Of Art (Bombay), wanting to be an artist, a painter. But most of the lectures held back then were in Marathi, and the Ceramics professor then was one of the teachers who would converse in English…so, I guess at 18 my choices were more lingual based. I didn’t know back then that clay would become such an integral part of me.

Did you start with the raw material or did the idea lead to the raw material?

The Raw material had me started. Had I not known my way through each molecule of clay, I don’t think I would have started working in clay again. Also, the fact that I connected to it more than anything else, It calmed me down, it spoke to me.

What do you think of when you create your work?
Nothing. Surprisingly I am mostly blank when I start with creating a project, it’s just a lump of clay in the bag, I usually start by just playing around with it a little, before an idea finally strikes me. The amount of eureka moments I have is not funny.

What inspires you?
Nature mostly. I feel I have some connection with the ways and shapes of different leaves, even most of my sketches have a lot of leave formation, and peacock feathers, that comes to as my tribute to Lord Krishna.

Sustainable seems to mean many things to many people. What does it mean to you?
Just the thought that ceramic is one material which will last beyond centuries makes it most sustainable, beyond romanticizing the whole concept.

What does Art and Design mean to you?

There’s a very thin line between art and design. I did my bachelor in Fine Arts and then post graduated to be a designer, so if asked to choose between the two, I’d call myself more of a designer than an artist. I am more temperamental towards usability and not just something as a form of self-expression that doesn’t mean I have anything against being an artist.

Did you start off knowing what kind of pottery you’d like to make?

No, but over the years I have come to master hand built pottery techniques.

Your work has structure and plenty of texture, yet there is a visual lightness to it. What do you trust to tell you that you’re done with a project?

I really wish I could answer that. I just know when to stop. It’s mostly when I am too tired and then suddenly after a point I get this elevated feeling looking at the piece, and I know its complete. Visually too I am very conscience of what it would look like.

What are you working on currently?

Lamps. I love doing a lot of products in a form where lighting can be used, for example, lamps, candles and tea-lights.

What have you learnt along the way that you’d like to share?

I’ve learnt that you can’t be emotionally attached to any of your creation. You can never be sure during which process of ceramics it might break. But best part of it all is the fact that if I can make it once, I can surely make it again and probably even better than before.

You can view Neha’s labor of love at her website and see her fan base :) at this facebook page.

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1 comment:

  1. Neha such a passion towards your work can only from an artist's soul rather a born artist like you.