Stoneware and Sgraffito Pottery with Ranjita
  • Pondicherry, India
  • 24 hours over 4 days

Stoneware and Sgraffito Pottery with Ranjita

Learn how to make high-fired stoneware glazed pottery under the guidance of Ranjita, a student of Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith who led this pottery movement in 1970s in Pondicherry, India.

    Pricing

    One Guest
    USD $525
    Additional guest(s) (max 2)
    USD $150

    Accommodation

    One Guest
    USD $265
    Additional guest(s)
    USD $180

    Meet the Artist

    Ranjita hand crafts high temperature stoneware and wood fired functional pottery. A trained chef, Ranjita pursued her passion for pottery as an apprentice under master potters Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith, and later assisted and taught at their studio. She seeks functionality and equally lets the fuel, fire, glaze, clay body inform her aesthetic decisions when she sits on the wheel. She works a lot with slips, applying them on leather hard or bisqued pieces, then hand painting.

    Recently she's been experimenting with sgraffito, a form of decoration made by scratching through colored slip on clay. It's a painstaking and laborious process but worthwhile if fired successfully. "I believe pottery can change the way people view objects. The fact is that it's not merely a visual medium, but engages sound, encourages touch, creates tactile memory, develops a sense of aesthetics like few other materials do."

    VAWAA Includes:

    • Learning about different clays, firing temperatures, clay making, wedging, handbuilding techniques such as pinching, coiling, slab work and basics of pottery on the wheel.
    • Learning surface decoration techniques of sgraffito or carving through clay. You will either throw a plate or use a plaster mould to make a slab plate.
    • Based on skill level, learning advanced techniques like making bespoke handles, knobs, throwing lids that fit and other advanced throwing techniques.
    • Due to the time required, all pieces will be fired and shipped at a later date. Or, you can extend the duration to learn in-depth bisque process, glazing and high firing (1300 degrees C) in a gas kiln.
    • Your hand crafted pottery.
    • Visiting local potteries and studios around the city.
    • A trip to Auroville.

    Stay at Ranjita's

    Sojourn in Ranjita's home, close to the beach and just a five-minute walk to her studio. Your stay includes a bedroom with a double bed and separate bathroom in a well-ventilated space with ample storage. The apartment is on the second floor and accessible by stairs only. You will also be around friendly dogs. Females and couples preferred.

    Explore Pondicherry

    Pondicherry is a Union Territory on the south-east coast of India. It was part of France until 1954 when it acceded to India and the French influence is still very strong especially in what is known as the French Quarter. This coastal town is also popular because of the Sri Aurobindo Ashram— shaped by visionary and freedom fighter Sri Aurobindo's spirituality and philosophy— as well as Auroville— an international township and spiritual community conceptualized in the 1970's by Mirra Alfassa also known as The Mother, the spiritual collaborator of Sri Aurobindo.

    Pondicherry has been famous for its pottery since Ray Meeker and Deborah Smith started Golden Bridge Pottery (GBP). Along with Gurcharan Singh, they spearheaded high-fired stoneware glazed pottery movement in India. Until then pottery in India was low-fired earthenware that was used for storage and tiles. Today It's a well known destination for sourcing pottery since a lot of studios and establishments have been set-up by Ray and Deborah's erstwhile students. Auroville especially has a number of production potteries and ceramic artists at the moment. The relatively slow-paced life allows for the growth of creativity here.

    Additional Details

    Being a coastal city, Pondicherry is humid and hot and the best time to visit are between September and March. Keep in mind that summer months in June and July can be especially hot. It's also best to avoid monsoon season around July and August, although a lot of people do enjoy Pondicherry during the rains.

    This VAWAA is available for a longer duration, up to 120 days and can also be adapted for children. To experience the firing process, we recommend extending to 6 days. Please ask when you send your booking request.

    The studio is on the second floor and not accessible by wheelchair.
    Ranjita's Availability 4 days