Published: 01st July 2020
How pottery magic is created at Coimbatore's Soul Space Studio is beyond awesome
Coimbatore-based Preetha Krishnan's Soul Space Studio is exclusively dedicated to pottery where she makes everything from pots to murals!
When my young nephew told me that he learnt pottery in school, I was taken aback. I had only seen photos of pottery in books or in the form of stickers when I was in school. Then, pottery was always associated with potters who hail from underprivileged backgrounds but today, it's become the hobby of choice for the urban population. But to Preetha Krishnan, it was more than just a hobby. This potter set up her own pottery studio, Soul Space Studio in May 2018, after devoting her mind and soul into it.
An architect by profession, Preetha narrates how her journey into pottery began, “When I was doing my graduation thesis, I stayed at Auroville for a week. When there, I stumbled upon a girl making earthen pots. It was like love at first sight — something pulled me towards the art and I decided to attend pottery classes,” says the 26-year-old who did so for a year. Wait, what? A year to learn pottery? “Learning pottery is like taking a dip in the ocean. From kneading to the baking, there is a vast range of processes and techniques to learn and master. You need time to understand how the products are shaped and how to clear the mess you have created,” explains an enthusiastic Preetha who went on to learn sculpting too.
Speaking about the various processes in pottery, Preetha says, “The processes depend on the clay. There is terracotta, ceramic and porcelain. Terracotta is commonly used for workshops as it has high elasticity but it cannot withstand high temperature. Ceramic and porcelain are soft and they are highly resistant to heat,” shares the architect who conducts workshops for fellow pottery enthusiasts. But how does she manage workshops while also making customised products? “Anusha Vijayakumar, who is my partner, helps me in handling the work,” tells Preetha who met her partner when she needed guidance to set up a kiln in her studio. They kindled a friendship and started brainstorming new products. “We try to bring new products that follow a concept. We recently designed a ceramic pasta bowl that can be inverted and used as a lampshade,” she says.
Preetha stresses that the hardest part is making people understand the value of pottery. “My family and friends were a bit reluctant to accept this as my career after I quit my job in mainstream architecture. Making people understand its value has been challenging but things have come a long way in the past couple of years. Now, I get invited as a guest to many colleges to teach this sustainable artform,” she concludes.
Some of Preetha's other works: