TERRACOTTA WORKSHOPS

In March 2010, two workshops were held at the Tranquebar Craft Resource Centre (TCRC) to upgrade the skills of local artisans working with terracotta. 

Renowned potters from Auroville, Anna and Saraswati, held a two-day workshop.  They faced some obstacles because the local clay was of inferior quality. Since Saraswati and Anna are used to working with electric kilns for firing, they had some trouble trying to fire the products in a firewood kiln traditionally used by Tranquebar potters. Despite these difficulties, the workshop was extremely successful, and Saraswati and Anna are both eager to work with the Tranquebar potters again.  They encouraged artisans to take inspiration from natural forms that surround them.

The second workshop for the Tranquebar potters was with Madhulika Ghosh, a ceramicist from Sydney, Australia who gave a two-day terracotta workshop at the TCRC.  We called women, children, passers-by and even the security guards from the street to participate in this joyful event.  Many were shy to begin with, but after some coaxing, they dug their fingers into the wet clay and created their expressions of Tranquebar.  Twenty-nine people participated in the workshop, including the TCRC team.  Once Natarajan, a master potter, had fired the clay, these pieces of spontaneous artwork were showcased in an exhibition at TCRC.