An exhibition of cooking ware made of clay

Pots, pans, plates and cups and saucers too…in the many shades of red earth made of clay. The usual exhibition venues are unaffordable hence the potters from the potter community of Kavalamukkatta in Nilambur have put their ware up for sale in the compound of a house in Edappally Toll (opposite Vineetha Theatre). “It is unusual but we have a dedicated set of customers who patronise us,” says Sunil Babu who has brought the clay ware.

On tables, and on the floor, are arranged neat rows of cups, plates, curios and a variety of cookware made of clay. The clay is sourced from fields near the village. All the pots are handmade except the curios which are made using moulds. The utensils look contemporary and modern, not in the least rustic. Some have been modified keeping in mind convenience. For instance the pathiri chatti, which according to Sunil, used to be a concave bowl now has a handle and can also be used to make chapathis. A few other pots too have handles. The water containers (kooja) are heat resistant. “The pot for setting absorbs all the water,” Sunil says. He also custom makes clay-ware.

“These can also be used on the dining table as serving dishes,” he says pointing to a rice dish, an uruli like pot with a cover. Making a dinner set of these pots seems like a good idea in the age of China rejected melamine and plastic crockery. The popularity of the pottery is evident from the number of buyers who do not leave empty-handed.

The pottery is a glazed red which, Sunil says, has been painted using a red soil traditionally used to paint walls. Some are an interesting mix of red and black, the colour is acquired by firing the already ‘baked’ pots with saw dust. It is not just kitchen ware that Sunil has put up on show, there are wall pieces made of terracotta tiles, masks, little clay turtles and the like. The prices of some of the pathirichatti costs Rs. 300, meenchatti Rs. 300 – 450, cheenachatti Rs. 300, cup and saucer – Rs. 200. The exhibition concludes on March 22. Sunil Babu can be contacted at: 9447518053