The art of survival is a story that never ends.
– Christian Bale
Uttam Nagar, a heavily populated area in west Delhi, was the next destination Peeli Dori had on its cluster list. It is one such corner of self-sustained lifestyle in Delhi, where you name it and it is there, ranging from fruit sellers to footwear, apparel and even furniture. Take the right turn on the roads of Uttam Nagar and you get what you need. One such road lead to the potter’s colony, popularly known as the “kumhar colony”.
Kumhaar is a community of potters who are practising the art of pottery from the very ancient times. This skill is passed on from generation to generation in these families and both women and men of the family are involved. It takes fine precision to practise this craft and form art out of clay.
The Kumhaar’s colony was a separate world altogether, consisting of around 2000 homes that were into clay pottery. Each household had a different ambiance. As we entered the colony and noticed adjacent houses, our senses were captured with the sight of huge pottery products display at the entrance of each house. It was a sight one cannot forget.
A middle aged man, working effortlessly on his potter’s wheel, was busy shaping an irregular dump of clay into a beautiful vase. As we walked beside him, he welcomed us with polite gestures and asked us about our whereabouts. Upon introducing ourselves we told him about the market that he has for his products and how people with modern lifestyles are still touched with the idea of hand crafted pots and vessels. Beyond his realisation, these facts bought a proud smile on his face. Throughout this conversation, one thing that he did not leave was his potter’s wheel. Nothing could have distracted him from his work and his compassion for it.
They faced the similar challenges as every other craft cluster and were not able to sustain a rhyming lifestyle of healthy and wealthy. They still had the charm to make every bit of it survive, considering it a gift from their ancestors.
Peeli Dori attempts to bring forward these local communities with beautiful crafting skills, on a platform wherein they can be linked with the right market and achieve identification in the urban world for what they do. Recognition is what we seek for them, since we understand the value it has for our society and how much we love having and incorporating their products in our modern lifestyle.
Let us help them continue their beautiful story of throwing on a potter’s wheel.
CLUSTER- Potter’s colony
LOCATION- Uttam Nagar, New Delhi
SKILL- Clay pottery
CATEGORIES- Pots, stools, vases, show pieces, lamps, wall hangings
PROBLEM- Repetition of designs, unable to reach right market, unable to recognize the value of their skills