Clay is one of the easiest materials to mould and shape with the slightest of pressure. While mass-produced ceramics ensure each line, curve, and turn are perfectly aligned, handmade ceramics made at homegrown pottery studios follow the curvature of the potter and his wheel. It is in these little imperfections that one can spot its beauty.
Pottery, like many other traditional hobbies such as knitting, crocheting and journaling, has made a comeback, especially in the past few years. Whether it’s an acceptance of the slower pace of life or simply an appreciation of tactile art forms, these mindful pursuits have boosted a whole generation of homegrown studios. Minimalistic designs inspired by the Japanese and Nordic aesthetic alongside the rawness of Indian clay pottery is the overriding theme here. Spread across the country, we introduce you to independent ceramists and pottery studios making handcrafted, small-batch pieces that have taken over Instagram and Pinterest.
The making of pottery is both a primitive yet poignant expression of self. Founded by Nikita Dawar, this pottery school is based in the Velanga Orchard in in Bodabandla, Andhra Pradesh. Slow Pottery offers short courses and daily workshops to help you hone the skill of ceramic making. Whether you’re a hobbyist or someone professional, these classes focus on philosophy, technique, and lifestyle surrounding pottery. The Boob Basics collection (pictured) is an ode to the human body.
In a small village of Andretta near Dharmshala lies the headquarters of Atelier Lālmitti, a clay studio that creates handmade ceramics celebrating everyday life. The studio is run by Reyaz Badaruddin (Indian ceramic artist) and Élodie Alexandre (a French artist who specialises in illustrations and ceramics). A melange of Indian pottery techniques with a French design aesthetic, the one-of-a-kind ceramics bring whimsy to your table with their line of baking trays, butter dishes, dessert trays, jugs, and more. The white ceramic pieces are hand-painted with illustrations inspired by the Himalayas or eclectic animal outlines.
Minimalistic handmade ceramic pieces are a thing of beauty that definitely change the aesthetic around your home. Creating pieces that fit the bill is Karishma Kajaria’s homegrown label, Nitara. Crafted by local artisans around Kolkatta, the brand follows fair trade and sustainable practices like using plastic-free packaging and making durable products. Hues of blue and green dominate their serve ware collection, which is moulded by hand to create natural curves and folds.
If your table conversations revolve around tableware, it’s time you checked out Jaipur based label Khanoom. The botanical prints are inspired by De Materia Medica, a Greek encyclopaedia on herbal medicine and take form on plates, cups, and napkin holders. Each piece is hand-moulded, biscuit-fired, dipped in white glaze and then hand-painted by their co-founder and creative director Simon Marks. Supporting the local potters is of prime importance for the brand, which led an initiative called Matka Pani to support artisans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Add this handmade ceramic studio to the list of things to do in Goa. Run by Tanushree Singh, the label is in sync with the susegad way of life and each piece is made slowly and joyfully by a single pair of hands. This also means that every piece is made on order and takes its own time to shape and reach its final destination. Textures and patterns play an important role, and each piece has its own inspiration and story.
As a child Delhi-based Anumita Jain shared a passion for cooking, which has translated into a label that makes decorative and table ceramics. In 2019, Anumita quit her job as a product designer to focus on her side hustle. A Clay Story that creates moody, earthy glazed ceramic pieces. From chutney bowls, chopstick rests to plate sets, A Clay Story’s muted ceramics are a great addition to your intimate dinner table.
Turning the ancient art of pottery into a charming part of your home is Studio Nendo, which gets its name from the Japanese term for sculpting of clay. Run by Srishti Sindhu and a team of highly skilled potters, the studio creates unique, artisanal tableware using stoneware clay which is then fired twice at high temperatures in a kiln. They also customise pieces but require about 15 days of notice.
Header Image: Courtesy Khanoom. Featured Image: Courtesy Atelier Lālmitti.