Despite the mud-spattered shoes and the initial failures, the pottery-making experience in Bhaktapur was undeniably delightful. It taught me that art is not about perfection; it's about the journey, the learning, and the joy of creation
Pottery—the very word conjures images of skilled artisans crafting beautiful, intricate creations from clay. I embarked on a pottery-making adventure in Bhaktapur, Nepal, hoping to tap into this ancient craft and create something extraordinary with my own hands. Little did I know that this journey would be both challenging and immensely rewarding.
Before delving into the world of pottery, I visited Pottery Square, a renowned hub for this art form in Bhaktapur. This square, also known as Kumha Tole and Talakhwoh, is conveniently located near Taumadhi and Bhaktapur Durbar Squares. It wasn't hard to find—just head south from Bhaktapur Durbar Square's southwestern lane or go straight from Taumadhi Square toward the southwest and then turn left to the south. Soon, you'll find yourself in Pottery Square.
The pottery-making adventure awaited at Prajapati Pottery Shield and Trophy Industry, a place with a welcoming banner that caught my eye. Here, I listened intently as a seasoned potter shared the secrets of this ancient craft.
As I stood before the potter's wheel, excitement bubbled within me. But let me tell you, making pottery isn't as effortless as it appears. My initial attempts were far from perfect. It was a humbling experience to realize that creating even a simple clay craft required skill and finesse.
The first lesson was about controlling the pottery wheel. It was a modern, easy-to-operate wheel, but mastering it took some practice. I learned to use the foot pedal to control the wheel's speed, and my hands became the sculptor's tools.
Working with clay was an adventure in itself. Clay can be quite stubborn, and coaxing it into the desired shape takes patience and precision. My mentor guided me through every step, offering invaluable insights into the art of pottery.
Water played a crucial role, too; keeping hands moist was essential. With practice, my hands began to mold the claymore gracefully.
Eventually, I managed to create a small diyo (a traditional Nepali oil lamp) and a cup-like utensil. It wasn't perfect, but it was mine—a tangible testament to my journey into pottery.
The final challenge was detaching my creations from the wheel using a simple thread. It sounded tricky, but with guidance, it became manageable.
With my clay crafts separated, I had to wait for them to dry, bake, and be painted, a process that took several hours. In the meantime, I explored more of Bhaktapur.
The cost for this pottery-making experience was a mere 300 Nepalese rupees per person, a small price for the memories and skills gained.
Despite the mud-spattered shoes and the initial failures, the pottery-making experience in Bhaktapur was undeniably delightful. It taught me that art is not about perfection; it's about the journey, the learning, and the joy of creation. If you're ever in Bhaktapur, I encourage you to get your hands dirty and discover the beauty of pottery for yourself.
photo credit: Full Time Explorer, Full Time Explorer, Quino Al