Goa Potteries (Bicholim, Goa) – Traditional Potters with a 100 Year History in the Art

Goa Potteries, Bicholim, Goa

Wheel chaak, challakad – The traditional tools And an early age to run to continue more than 100 years family business of potteries or in-short terracotta. Pots/Ghada/Surahi/Gamla/Diyas – The articles – The potteries but the desire to create more to display more.

When/Where/How? – The unanswered questions.

Kumar – a small village near Jamui, Bihar a young boy each day rotating the same story until one day an invitation from a relative having ceramics business within Mumbai. The wheel of wishes started to rotate And finally the journey towards another destination far far away from village – Mumbai.

Year 1978, June the month – young man busy with ceramics And another invitation to show the talent at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi – an exhibition – 20 days show. Those 20 days changed the course of life. The art was displayed And people impressed. Blue Pottery one of the most reputed name spotted the talent And another invitation to join. Few months of work another invitation from Goa to join as a Master Craftsman at Goa Handicrafts. The invitation accepted And recognition

– Master Craftsman K. D. Pandit (Kamal Deo Pandit).

A small house within Bicholim and daily classes within Goa Handicrafts to teach students the art of pottery. After classes more work with clay And more making of articles And finally after 5 years own pottery industry – Goa Potteries.

Clients include starred hotels, showrooms, big houses, factories, abroad clients.

Exhibitions within various cities and awards/recognition from various organizations.

Year 2010 And I The travel-writer thought of a visit.

The road-route:

Karasada chowk, National Highway 17 right-turn > Assonora Bus Stand (10 km)

(National Highway 17 – left towards Mapusa And right towards Thivim i.e., Karasada chowk if you coming from Panjim. Turn right towards Thivim and continue driving straight till you reach Bicholim)

Assonora Bus Stand > Bicholim (6 km)

(At Bicholim a display-board – right turn for Mayem Lake. Take the turn if you wish to visit the lake first or else drive straight towards Valpoi. A small bridge – cross it And the moment you cross a right-turn towards Bicholim Industrial Estate. Enter the narrow lane And 100 meters you will find a display board – Goa Potteries. Take the right-turn – follow the board – within another 100 meters on the left-hand side is Goa Potteries)

Umesh Pandit son of K. M. Pandit was present And talks And the shared knowledge:

The availability of red-clay And The process of making potteries:

The red clay (in general called terracotta) of Bicholim is very famous as it never gets crack once the product is finished. No matter you keep the final finished product within water the lasting is almost forever.

Boddem – the correct location where red clay is found within Goa. Earlier times the clay was free but now-a-days Rs. 5000/full-truck.

First clay is passed with water through a wire strainer. This process separates smaller or bigger stones or any other waste from the clay. Once that is done the water along with clay is kept under Sunlight for days so that water is evaporated and finally clean clay is kept within the store to use as making potteries. After Holi festival (March-April-May) the process of cleaning clay starts.

To make an article or pottery the image is present within artist mind-frame And S/He only knows how to implement but many times as per client request articles are made. A small wood stick is used along with hands and fingers to draw a figure or Mural or articles. The process is called Master Art. Once master art is complete more such figure or Mural or flower pots can be made with the help of Plaster of Paris but the real art is Master Art which takes 3 days minimum to prepare.

Once Master Art is ready it is kept for 24 hours into furnace.

First 12 hours within slow flame And next 12 hours within high flame. After 3 days the product is taken out of the furnace and product is almost ready for sale after few finishing work.

Umesh Pandit is now inherited the family business and running successfully. But what was most impressive The simplicity And the down-to-earth attitude of Master Craftsman Kamal Deo Pandit.

Will say- If you are visiting Goa you should visit Goa Potteries And not only this if you wish to learn You are welcome.

Timings : 9am – 5:30pm – Sunday/holidays closed.

During the visit I saw a potter making faces with clay and cute potteries, diyas, articles, alligators all made by clay.

Fantastic tour it was. One should visit Goa Potteries at least once. The journey continues..

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