Being able to make stuff out of clay is surely a wonderful job.
I’m here to share my experience in the hopes that it may encourage you to make some pottery. Because, no matter how hasty looks, it could also be one of the most delightful experiences you may ever have in your lifetime.
But it is not an easy task to do. To be able to make anything out of clay on your first try is surely something. Since no matter how much attention you put on the tips of making pottery, until and unless you do it by yourself, you won’t understand what you are going to do and how exactly it works.
And, if you’re going to do it, you should bring a spare pair of shoes with you. Working with mud cannot be as easy as you believe. Anyway, it’ll come in handy at some point, so grab that one.
Before talking about pottery, let me give a little information about the Pottery Square, where we went to do pottery. Well, there are actually a lot of spots in Bhaktapur where pottery works are done.
The Pottery Square here that I am talking about is one of the famous squares of Bhaktapur. The place is also called Kumha tole and Talakhwoh. It’s very close to Taumadhi and Bhaktapur Durbar Square. Thus, you could easily locate the area.
All you have to do is go south from Bhaktapur Durbar Square’s southwestern lane. (The lane begins just in front of Kedarnath temple.) Alternatively, go straight from Taumadhi Square toward the southwest, then turn left toward the south.
Take the very first right turn there, and you’ll be in Pottery Square.
Upon reaching Pottery square, you obviously would witness souvenir shops. And, in some, you could notice the banner or board saying Pottery training centre. Well, if you want to go to the same place as I, then walk a little ahead to the south from the main pottery square. (It’s named Prajapati Pottery Shield and Trophy Industry)
Just there, you’ll see the exact same board as shown in the following image and then all you have to do is hear out what the potter has to say and practice.
And, trust me, you ain’t gonna make what you were expecting to make when you first try. All of us, who was way too excited to make pottery literally failed to make even a single craft on our first try. It ain’t easy as we think when we see others doing pottery so fluently.
Just like us, you would also be taught to control the wheeler, at first. It was a modern one so, it was quite easy to operate. To shape that clay, all you have to do was press the accelerator of the wheeler with your foot and control it as your need. And if you need to stop, you just have to stop pressing your foot and try to stop it with your hand.
After learning to control that machine, you have to deal with the clay. Cause, it won’t behave as you wish. First, you are taught to abide some amount of clay then slowly match pace with the rounding wheeler.
Then you have to make the shape of your desired craft. Some delicate handwork indeed is needed in this work. And, maintaining the shape of the craft is another most important thing that you need to consider while doing pottery.
Well, there would be your professional potter who would help you with each of these details.
*You would be notified from time to time to just use some water to moisten your hands.
Don’t worry though, after making your shoes a little muddy and then practising two or three times more, you would finally be able to make at least something like a little diyo or some sort of cup-like utensils.
Yet, it does not complete the pottery that you began. Because you need to get your creation out of that wheeler. Another seemingly difficult challenge but it’s not! Here, all you have to do is cut your clay crafts from a small thread before repositioning them from the wheel.
Yes, you heard that right. You have to separate your craft from the wheeler with the help of a thread.
All of the clay crafts are sliced with a tiny thread before being sun-dried and baked and painted. Because it takes a long time to complete your craft to the finished piece, your activities are simply limited till the cut through thread.
Regardless, if you wish to bring your stuff back with you, you can return to the same place after a while (about 2-3 hours later). In the meantime, you could explore more of Bhaktapur.
To experience pottery making costs only 300 Nepalese rupees per person. It seemed to be a fair fee for such a fantastic experience as pottery. Isn’t that so?
Finally, despite the fact that the pottery handed me a muddy shoe in exchange, it was such a wonderful experience. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.