Wheels of change: Japanese artist transforms clay into intricate pots in Mumbai | mumbai news | Hindustan Times
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Wheels of change: Japanese artist transforms clay into intricate pots in Mumbai

As part of his session, held at Mumbai’s Artisans’ gallery, Hiroshige Kato showed his audience how to turn mushy clay into intricately shaped cups, vases and even a teapot

mumbai Updated: Feb 05, 2018 00:07 IST
Aayushi Pratap
12th-generation pottery artist Hiroshige Kato(right) conducting a Japanese pottery workshop at Kala Ghoda on Sunday.
12th-generation pottery artist Hiroshige Kato(right) conducting a Japanese pottery workshop at Kala Ghoda on Sunday.(Hemanshi Kamani/ HT)

Twenty lucky early-bird arrivals got to spin the wheel with a Japanese pottery artist during a workshop organised as part of the Hindustan Times Kala Ghoda Arts Festival on Sunday morning.

Hiroshige Kato, a 12th-generation pottery artist, began his session with a PowerPoint presentation on the subject. “Japanese pottery is mostly about tableware,” he said. “Traditionally, people would pick up their noodle bowls and bring them close to their mouth. This is why bowls had to be lightweight.”

“My impression is that pottery in India is largely used to make decorative items,” he said.

As part of his session, held at the Artisans’ gallery, Kato showed his audience how to turn mushy clay into intricately shaped cups, vases and even a teapot.

The audience was mesmerised as the artist — who has been working in this medium for 35 years — effortlessly shaped the clay.

“The session was informative. Everything he said about pottery came from his strong tradition and roots. It was nice to know that the culture of pottery is still alive,” said Ankita D’Souza, 21, a communications design student from Pune, who is interning at an art centre in the city.

Maanasi Shankar, 24, a design researcher from Pune, tired her hand at pottery making under Kato’s guidance too.

“It had been a while since I created something with my hands. I felt like the clay was listening to me. It moved without any inhibitions,” she said.

She added that while Kato instructed her to make a cup, she had wanted to make a bowl. “I ended up making a something that looked a cross between a cup and a bowl,” she said, laughing.