February 23, 2015 1:00:22 am
Bhadak is an unusually shaped clay vessel. Fat and round in the middle with a slender neck, it is a unique piece of earthenware made by the kumbhars (potters) of Kutch. Used to store water in the olden times, it now makes an artisanal appearance in “Ghadai”, a unique pottery exhibition on at the Hermes store in Mumbai. With a base price of Rs 50,000, it’s definitely not your average clay pot either.
Conceptualised by the Kutch-based NGO, KHAMIR, the exhibition presents a range of pottery such as Bhadak, and is aimed at showcasing the skills of the craftsmen of the region. “We have been organising an annual exhibition presenting different crafts of Kutch for three years now. This is for the first time that we have partnered with a luxury label,” says Meera Goradia, Director, KHAMIR.
The NGO, which was set up in the aftermath of the 2001 earthquake in Bhuj to help revive the livelihood of artisans, promotes six crafts of the region — printed textiles, woven textiles, leather art, lacquered wood products, metal bells and pottery. “Ghadai is actually a 7,000-year-old technique used by traditional potters to create large objects of pottery like pots, plates and vessels. We worked with seven traditional pottery clusters to put together this showcase,” says Goradia.
Though the annual presentation is held on the KHAMIR campus back home in Kukma, located 15 kms from Bhuj, this year, the team looked to reach out to a newer audience for a fresh perspective.
The support from Hermes as part of its H³ programme called “Head – Heart – Hand” made it possible. “This form of pottery is a dying art. We encouraged the potters to work for us again and steered then towards creating exceptional designs,” says Goradia, who has also put together a narrative to showcase the history of pottery and its relevance in today’s times. Also for the first time, the pieces are being auctioned online on the KHAMIR website (www.khamir.org). “The proceeds will go towards supporting the pottery clusters,” adds Goradia.
The special display at the Hermès store in Mumbai will continue till March 1
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