September 18, 2019 Comments (0) Views: 817 Ceramic, Ceramic, Design

Astha Malu’s ceramic journey reflects a gradual transition from non-functional artworks to user-friendly utility products.

When did you become passionate about clay?

Mitti or clay has always been vital part of our life. There is always an element of surprise with clay. From molding it in various forms for various functions to fascinating detailing and textures, I believe that clay can speak one’s thoughts, no matter how chaotic or peaceful they are. My ceramic journey started a decade ago when I was pursuing my Bachelor’s studies -majoring in Sculpture (Fine Arts). I went on to do my Master’s in Industrial Design at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, where I majored in Ceramic & Glass Design.

Chef Vineet Bhatia’s Collection – Thumb pinched-broken edges (2019)

How do you design a collection?

I share stories through my works and collections. Their forms, illustrations, textures and patterns are all thoughtfully hand developed. Since all my products are hand-built, human involvement is vital, and hence no two products are same, though they are similar, like any family. I sketch out my ideas in clay – the material is quite handy and moldable. Working straight out of clay helps speed up the sampling process.

Chef Vineet Bhatia’s Collection

Where do you see ceramic art headed in India?

India has a rich and intense clay history, especially with regards to terracotta, which has been used to create everything from lamps and water pots to entire temples made up of intricate terracotta tiles. There is certainly a sense of awareness in today’s generation, especially about ‘no plastic’ or trying to use sustainable products – and that is redefining the importance of clay/ceramic in today’s lifestyles. There is also a crucial sense of responsibility in customers to revive and promote handcrafted processes, products and their makers, as many of these ancient crafts are on the verge of extinction.

This article was originally published in POOL 108.

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