Mandala Pottery was started by Chinmayi in 1994. Soon afterwards Anamika joined the studio. Starting from scratch, they slowly mastered the processes of throwing, making clay and glazes, loading and firing kilns, and running a unit.
Krishnamoorthy joined the studio in 1995; …a very welcome presence because customers were coming back for more, orders were becoming regular, and help was needed with hands-on chores at the studio.
Adil, fresh out of a two year course at Golden Bridge Pottery, and having put his architectural practice in Bombay on hold, joined Mandala in 2001. This is when the studio grew to its current scale, with new work-spaces for Anamika and Adil …and building a big gas-fired kiln to meet the orders flowing in. Mandala was now ready to take on its new adventure. Adil brought with him his architectural background, with which came in regular commissioned works for architectural murals, designer tiles and installations.
Our studio (along with a couple of others next door) is ensconced in the residential community of Dana, so expanding the workforce and subsequent orders was not possible. So we decided to adopt a pottery studio in the neighbouring village, train the potters there to throw our shapes and designs, and in a sense, outsource work that we could not make at Mandala.The adopted studio (now having grown exponentially) sends us bisque-ware that we glaze and fire in our particular style.
The small towns of Auroville and Pondicherry have grown into a veritable hub of handmade ceramics. We are happy to beflooded with interesting orders for tableware and architectural ceramics from India and abroad. It is now a challenge to find the time to do our own, specific studio ceramics for the exhibition circuit. A majority of our own individual works are now fired in a wood-fired soda kiln. Life goes on in this sleepy neighbourhood in the verdant forests of South India; happily so.
MANDALA POTTERY, 2018.
Partners: Anamika & Adil Writer.