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Adil

Anamika

Angad

Ange

Chinmayi

                        

Chinmayi


ART is skill in work
                        The Mother 

I was born in 1961 in Germany. After school education I worked as an elementary school teacher and social worker in various institutions. Following this, I have been running a health food store together with some friends, in the belief that it was possible to change life and man by changing their food habits. Searching for a deeper understanding of the human soul, I started studying psychology at a German university, but discontinued when I came to India in 1989 in order to join Auroville.

After about one year in Auroville, I started to learn clay work at the Shilpika pottery run by Michel Hutin and Angad Vohra. Throwing pottery at the wheel kept me fascinated for years, very much also as a tool to centre myself, and to learn to reach a deeper concentration.
After December 1991, when my son Merlin was born, I stopped working in the pottery for 18 months. Subsequently, in November 1997, Anamika, another Aurovilian potter, and I opened the 'Mandala' Pottery, in the Dana settlement in Auroville's Cultural Zone.

For many years we were busy with woodfired stoneware, mainly tableware, glazed and fired at 1300 Celsius. With all the usual technical and physical difficulties and challenges, it took us quite a few years before we reached a large variety of reliable glazes.

Smokefiring and Racuwork
While I was trying to find ways to not only just cover the external shapes of our products with glaze, but to generally treat the pots in a more refined way, Bernadette Baumgarten, a friend of us from Switzerland, just happened to come to Auroville and introduced us to the technique of
Smokefiring and Racuwork. A subsequent workshop by Jane Perryman at the Golden Bridge Pottery in Pondicherry intensely deepened my fascination for Smokefired Pots.

As the burnishing and polishing of each individual Smokefired piece requires much time and energy, I veered somewhat away from utilitarian wares and started to do more 'unfunctional' work with the emphasis on the inner meaning of shapes.

These days my aim is to let every-day-life experiences that carve our inner being show through in the clay work.
Clay work then, for me, is one perfect tool for a never-ending, playful adventure.

chinmayi@auroville.org.in 

Article from 'Inside Outside' magazine

 

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