Raj Shekhar is a famous and a well recognised potter in Pottery Town in Bangalore, Karnataka. He is a 50 year old entrepreneurial businessman, who has been in the pottery business for the past 42 years. On Tuesday, me and my group had the opportunity to travel to Pottery Town and meet the well known potter. There, we asked different questions to the talented potter about his business and we had a briefing of his personal life. During the visit at the potter’s place, we learned a lot about Rajshekhar’s business and how he works with his family to keep the cultural pottery business in Bangalore alive.
Background Life of RajShekhar
As mentioned before, RajShekhar is a famous potter with a charming personality, in Pottery Town of Bangalore. What is the story behind all of his beautiful pottery? Who helps him? Does anyone help him? RajShekhar is a 50 year old man who lives with his wife and has two beautiful daughters.
His family is very supportful in the potter’s business. The potter’s family works day and night to to provide his customers and client with beautiful and traditional pottery. His first daughter studies hotel management whereas the younger, goes to an art school, Chitrakala Parishad. Despite this difference, both of his daughters, have an interest in pottery like their father, and are looking forward to keeping their father’s pottery business alive.
When asked “Sir, but what are your future plans?” , RajShekhar dreams of earning enough money to send both of his daughter abroad for studies and travelling abroad himself along with his wife. He also dreams of buying a car! Above all of this, to keep his pottery business alive, he wishes to build a factory for both his daughters that would produce pots and teacups, though, keeping the culture of making traditional pottery alive.
I had an amazing experience at RajShekhar’s working space, watching him spin the plate on which he smacks the raw clay, that he later shapes into beautiful vases and teacups. It was very satisfying observing him shape something that was extremely shapeless to something that is sold to customers for use and for decoration. When we first walked into his space, we saw clay all over the ground and walls.
Well, “Every Artist has a messy working space to create something beautiful”. We walked in completely clueless about RajShekhar’s business. We saw the old potter, with a slab of shapeless clay on his wheel. He started to spin the wheel, dipping his hands in water to shape the clay, perfecting it’s curves and edges. It was so mesmerising watching the potter work with the clay, with so much precision. After 10 whole minutes, the slab of clay was transformed into a classy vase.
After asking many question to the old potter about how he runs his business, we headed to the kiln, where the talented potters around Pottery Town come together to burn their dried pottery. As we walked through the town, we came upon another potter’s house. This house was different. It was full of pots stacked up in shelves and even in the nooks and corners. Why did the potter store so much of pottery? The potters around the town have a lot of work to do when the Indian festivals of the year in Bangalore are around the corner. After, coming out of the house, I saw couple of rickshaws driving with so much of pottery stacked up in the backseat. They were delivering the handmade pots and teacups to clients and customers around the city.
Overall, being able to understand the life of Raj Shekhar and his business, was an extremely interesting experience. I was able to comprehend how his business worked and what he would do with the money would earn.
When leaving Pottery Town, I had a sense of satisfaction of being able to meet a dedicated potter, RajShkehar. I left the town, with an abundance of knowledge about the pottery business and industry. Although, the town has potters with competition between them, they all have their own unique style of creating charming and dazzling pots and teacups. After watching and learning about how a RajShekhar creates his pottery, I myself have become interested in pottery and I am looking forward to also being able to create something cultural and beautiful that represents the Indian culture.