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January 8, 2015 Comments (0) Views: 2572 Ceramic, Craft

All fired up

ShirleyoneAs chief artisan at New Delhi-based Irregular Beauty, ceramic designer Shirley Bhatnagar is still uncovering the secrets of clay.

“Even after 15 years of working in ceramics I feel I am just scratching the surface, – she believes. It’s a very laborious and process oriented material and often there is damage as it’s fragile at every stage of making. However it’s emotionally extremely rewarding once you learn to get results from your kiln…that’s when the fun starts.”

'Goblet Drama' from the Anthropomorphic Series

‘Goblet Drama’ from the Anthropomorphic Series

Complicated forms for installation in Hyatt, Chennai

Complicated forms for installation in Hyatt, Chennai

She draws ideas from folk tales, conversations, comics and cinema to make very expressive work in ceramics:

“Since I draw extensively on clay with glazes and slips, the element of narrative comes out extremely strong.”

Shirley looks into the Indian crafts sector a lot for inspiration and new learning:

“This is a tremendous resource and we are very lucky to be able to have it. I have used aspects of many crafts in my work, Jaipur wood blocks, Molela Votive terracotta, Channapatna wood craft.”

The Bollywood sketches were eventually made into ceramic decals and printed on to bone china, these were limited edition tumblers in bone china, shown at the 100 years of Indian Cinema show

The Bollywood sketches were eventually made into ceramic decals and printed on to bone china, these were limited edition tumblers in bone china, shown at the 100 years of Indian Cinema show

The Wall at The Indian School of Business

The Wall at The Indian School of Business

“If one is working with materials one should learn to create first with the hands, – she feels, – and develop a bonding with the material of choice. Always be curious and investigative, and read, especially fiction, because design has a lot to do with storytelling.”

'Anthropomorphic Series' Juggy and his no good friends

‘Anthropomorphic Series’
Juggy and his no good friends

Shirley shares her passion for clay and craft in POOL 55.

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