Tuesday, November 10, 2009

As I slowly recover from the loss of my mother, I've been working a bit more in the studio and had an interesting thing happen.

An East Indian man walked in one day looking for "pots". When I directed him to the small gallery in the front of the studio, he explained he wasn't looking for "those kinds of pots," but the type of cooking pot that would double as a musical instrument.

The owner of the studio was a bit confused. But I immediately knew he was referring to a Ghattam. I suggested he search for one on the Internet, but he was more interested in finding one locally. The studio owner suggested someone might want to take it on as a commission piece, and looked at me.

Now, I've never thrown anything that large or in that shape before. But I decided it might be a good challenge to get me out of my funk. I even knew I would do it in two pieces: throw two bowls, put them together, cut a hole in the top of one and use the thickness around that to pull up the neck and rim.

I had quite a few problems with it (I've only made one so far), and am now letting it leather up a bit so I can trim out the parts.

In the meanwhile, I found out TRUE ghattams are thrown with metal filings in the clay to give them a metallic sound after they're fired. My response to that? "No way I'm throwing a piece with filings in it!" One piece I read even used the word "lead" when referring to these filings. An even more compelling reason NOT to use them.

Meanwhile, we'll see how my wonky ghattam turns out. If this gentleman doesn't want to buy my effort, I can always use it to store water!