Functional art from the kiln

ART FOR HOME The salt-glazed ceramic functional art piece on display - rain cloud plates. Photos: Special Arrangement  

2014 would probably be remembered, apart from political reasons, as the year that Hyderabad faced prolonged summer. Artist Aarti Vir took a cue from the general longing for rain clouds when she was firing a lot for functional ceramics. She came up with ‘rain cloud plates’ that bear small rain clouds and a few droplets of water on an ash grey surface.

These rain cloud plates are among the functional ceramic art pieces now on display at the Minaaz Art Gallery. On display and sale are small and large tumblers, mugs, bowls, lidded dishes and vases that Aarti made over two firings in July and August.

Aarti is more an artist than a potter and her salt glazed sculptures have taken various forms and textures while giving shape to her thoughts, responding to the world around her over the years. Occasionally though, she has been firing utility ceramics at her kiln on orders. This is her first exhibition of functional art.

Day-to-day items take a new dimension in Aarti’s hands. There’s a subtle play of colours and patterns on each tumbler and mug. Blue-tinged bowls are aptly called ‘ocean bowls’ and the earthy, reddish brown plates ‘red earth plates’, with the colours resulting from the use of glaze.

Small table bowls with fine line etchings have been inspired by the lines on paddy fields. There are long stem vases and the curious amoeba-shaped pod vases. “I came across tree pods during my walks at one of the parks in the city,” says Aarti, talking about the inspiration for these vases.

Though Aarti’s mainstay is sculpture, she looks forward to doing more functional art. “Maybe I wouldn’t do it in such a straightforward way. I like to hand build each piece than mechanically throw it on the potter’s wheel and do 10 or 20 mugs,” she says.

Functional ceramics by Aarti Vir is on display at Minaaz Art Gallery, Road no.10 Jubilee Hills, till September 23. Prices begin at Rs. 450.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2021 7:14:49 AM |

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