Ashi | The Potter
Ashi | The Potter
Ashi is at her wheel, carefully pulling the clay and shaping it with a very delicate pressure, while talking to me about her work. An extremely talented Indian studio potter, Ashi was introduced to pottery when she was very young.
Pottery, is made by forming a ceramic (often clay) body into objects of any desired shape, and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing; however, prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared. Kneading helps to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. This is called de-airing and can be accomplished either by a machine called a vacuum pug or manually by wedging. Wedging can also help produce an even moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After shaping, it is dried and then fired.
Ashi formulates her own clay mix and prepares her own glazes. Over trial and error at first, she would lose quite a few pieces, but over time, she’s worked out what she can and can’t get away with. “It is all about timing” she says, “knowing the limits of the ingredients, and working out ways to achieve what you want”. Ashi relies on clay, glaze types, and the firing to determine the end results.
She says, she is most excited while unloading her Kiln to see how the firing has transformed her work, with quirky color imperfections on its own. The finishing of her work, is deliberately imperfect, as if imitating nature and its simplicity of design, yet incredibly complex process of creation. On the upside, it’s an endless job of creativity with no limits
Ashi plans to move her studio to the breath-taking mountains of Himachal Pradesh, where she first started to learn pottery and longs for the creativity the quaint destination had once filled her with. She feels inspired by earthy hues, which is very visible in her work. Most of all Ashi revel’s in doing what she does best, and this adds character to her art.