Published: 17th April 2019
Anu Cheeran's pottery workshops are all about developing a strong connection with ceramic creations
Anu Cheeran speaks about her pottery workshop and how she learnt to traverse the ceramic world through sheer passion
On April 12 and 13, French Toast cafe and studio hosted a pottery workshop for children between the ages of 8 to 16. Although pottery seems like the sort of art form that would take years to perfect, Anu Cheeran made the whole thing seem effortless to the children and adults gathered there. Known among Kerala's art circle as The Little Goldfish, Anu's workshop centred around demonstrating the earthy and natural aspects of the art.
"The first step for us was to introduce the children to the concept of clay and help them really understand what it represents," explains Anu. The children were provided sets of clay and pottery tools which they were encouraged to use however they saw fit. The initial idea was to encourage them to create objects without the use of a pottery wheel "You don't want to immediately start using the wheel before you really understand what clay is capable of," she adds.
BIG WHEEL: After completed her post graduation in glass and ceramic design from the National Institute of Design
When Anu began working with the clay as the session commenced, the children watched in awe as objects of various shapes and sizes seemed to materialise out of thin air. "This is the first time that I'm organising a workshop for children in Kochi, it is interesting to watch how the children are responding to it. In my general experience, children are naturally drawn to clay and they don't take long to start working with it with a particular result in mind. The children don't always know what object or art piece they want to go for but they seem to be full of ideas the moment they start getting comfortable with the material," says Anu.
Anu found her calling at an early age. After doing her post graduation in glass and ceramic design from the National Institute of Design (NID), she was all set to explore the world of pottery. She went on to set up a space in her hometown of Thrissur where she began practising her art and encouraging others to do the same. The Little Goldfish is now a name that has become familiar among people in the district and all around Kerala.
Anu seems to understand the value of learning to make what you love at a young age. "The best responses to what I teach always come from children. They are so full of energy and raring to go when they have the opportunity. I have had so many students who are eager and excited to make something of their own even before they really get a hang of it and that kind of energy is actually infectious," she laughs. With more workshops and events on the way, Anu hopes to make pottery an art that Kerala loves.