Come pot with me

May 22, 2008

Beautiful little hamlet called Andretta in the Kangra valley, known for a little work shed called Andretta Pottery. Found sweet Indian and European women (no men!) learning how to create pots. I believe its a very sensual experience to caress a mound of mud, no really.

Anyone can go and join up for a workshop, so if you are in the mood for a break, and want to do something really down to earth, go there.

Here’s the info I found on the net:

Mansimran Singh or Minni, as he is affectionately called, is an artist – potter of significant merit. His English wife, Mary, is also a professional potter.
Andretta Pottery came to be because a woman called Norah Richards came to live in Andretta (Himachal Pradesh), in the 1920’s. She was a theatre lady and several artists visited her. Painter Sobha Singh moved here after partition; and Gurcharan Singh who started Delhi Blue Art Pottery would often visit Sobha Singh at Andretta.

In the early 1980’s there were still 120 out of nearly 270 potter families still existing in this area. Mansimran and Mary Singh were anxious to get them interested in pottery to suit modern day demands in an effort to stop the youngsters from leaving to look for jobs elsewhere.
Apart from setting up their own studio pottery workshop, they also established there a pottery and rural marketing centre in 1984, with a view to promoting and preserving the rich but dying crafts of the region.

The Singhs involved the Development Commission, Handicrafts in the Ministry of Textiles, and then the Rural Marketing Centre, which gave them a subsidy of Rs. 85,000 for land building and furniture. Then came a seed capital of Rs. 50,000 against which funds could be raised.Andretta Pottery and Crafts Society was set up in 1983. The Singhs worked in glaze and slips on terracotta, encouraging the village craftsmen to experiment. Since then Andretta Pottery has taken part in many exhibitions all over the country. The traditional potters have also accompanied the Singhs on many of these exhibitions.
Presently Mansimran Singh teaches students and also holds workshops at Andretta. In June 99 five Japanese potters held a workshop for the local potters of Andretta.

Andretta is about 540 kilometers from Delhi. One can go by road. The car journey takes 11 or 12 hours with a few stops on the way. The bus goes overnight as well. An overnight train will take you to Pathankot from where it is a three-hour drive to Andretta.


5 Responses to “Come pot with me”

  1. astralwicks Says:

    great post gudu. very tempting indeed. did you try your hand at sculpting the mud? don’t tell me you were better off as a spectator. NO, NOT AGAIN. just joking 🙂 this could be therapy.

  2. myexpression Says:

    i know where to go now…

  3. gudus Says:

    yeah its so nice there, little radio playing soft music, while you run the wheel through the day…there’s arrangements for staying too. Shivani got a lesson too, she loved it, na i didn’t, was shooting so I could help spread the word. One girl there had bunked work and took off for here from Bangalore…therapeutic it is.

    By the way, Norah Richards writers’ bungalow, meant to be writing haven for writers, is right next door. Up for rent I presume. It is perfect, astral. Wonder how many works of literature that place has given birth to?

  4. astralwicks Says:

    ummm. will somebody earn for me for the rest of my life. i will just…

  5. beylee Says:

    I want to go here RIGHT NOW.. super post

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