Published: 27th July 2019
This B'luru artist is giving contemporary pottery a new and quirky look, each designed with a valuable message in mind
Artist Sandeep thinks that pottery can be something beyond those traditional pots to store water. We find out more
When it comes to art like pottery, imagery of perfectly shaped earthen pots come to mind. But Sandeep S, who is pursuing his Master's in Pottery and Sculpture from Bangalore University, has gone one step further to make the most of this art. From climate change and global warming to deforestation and reducing plastics, this clay wizard can express it all through pottery. He explains, "All the problems nature is facing today are interlinked. Due to deforestation, we have no rains and this has resulted in a huge water crisis. There is also a severe increase in the temperature that is causing our glaciers and polar caps to melt at a shocking rate. There is a rise in the sea level because of global warming. Every pottery piece I create depicts each of these dangerous conditions."
A particularly quirky piece, Sandeep has moulded hundreds of smaller models of penguins that are surrounded by desert sands. He says, "They live in relatively colder climates when compared to other birds. Since the glaciers are melting, their habitat is also getting destroyed in the process. Through my piece, I am showcasing that their habitat has turned into a desert. Currently, this is small-scale model but I want to create a bigger models to show the same reality to people on a large scale."
Similarly, Sandeep has created a pot that looks like a tree trunk but these trunks look like they have been chopped. This piece conveys the message that if we don't stop deforestation, Earth and its resources will soon see its end. Apart from this, he has also painted pictures of plastic bottles on pots and he believes that this message is easily understood by people across all ages.
Climate change: Penguins in the desert is one of the unique pottery models created by Sandeep
But if there was one piece that stood out among all his work, it would be the huge pot that has several smaller pots on the top. When asked about the idea behind it, he says, "It's very simple. Many states are reeling under the water crisis and I felt that this is the best way to express it. Thousands of pots are empty due to the lack of water and rain. To express this, I have designed smaller pots on a bigger pot."
Save trees: A pottery model to show that deforestation exists
Not so easy, is it?
If you're a potter then you know that one has to be patient while creating clay artwork. Sandeep, who procures clay from the outskirts of Bengaluru, explains, "There are many lakes in the outskirts and clay is extracted from these sites. I buy the clay in huge quantities from the potters there. But that doesn't mean that the whole clay goes into making the pots. Particles like stones and dust are first separated from the clay. It is made softer by adding water and kneading it. At least 30 days goes into making the clay softer. The level of softness in the clay depends on the artwork we make."
Save water: A big pot that has many empty pots over it
Once the pots are ready, it requires at least two weeks for the models to dry. For those who don't know the process, Sandeep explains that there is bonded water within the walls of the clay which has to be drained completely. Only then firing of the clay can be done in the studio. This process makes the clay strong and durable so that it does not break easily. "I don't have my own studio. Therefore, the firing work usually happens in a college studio," says Sandeep, who plans to work with famous artists for a few years and set up his own pottery studio soon.