Ganesha Idols from Pottery Town, Bangalore
Pottery Town, Bangalore caters to each and every festival demands of Bangalore. With Ganesh Chaturthi fast approaching one of my friends wanted to buy one idol directly from the potter’s hands and that too, one which was not painted with the toxic colors. Do I leave the opportunity?? I too tagged along. I had never been to Potter’s Town before so I imagined the place to be with confusing lanes and by lanes, but to my surprise it was just a single street.
Pottery Town of Bangalore was just a single street with around 25 to 30 families in this profession; catering to the needs of Bangalore population. Unfortunately modernization is taking its toll and the business is no longer profitable. It is during the festival times the potters make some money.
What we saw there was feast to our eyes, Ganesha idols of all hues and shapes, most of them covered with plastic sheets. Only a couple or two sample idols were left uncovered in front of every shop.
Traditional families go for the handmade clay idols with a touch of gold paint to highlight the features. We saw Lakshmi at work in a dingy room, with her deft fingers over the wet clay still making the idols to meet the orders placed by her customers. Every act from mixing of clay, baking and drying all are managed in that tiny room. The clay is purchased from distant places like Hoskote, Kanakapura, the prices have gone high she told us.
Pottery Town of Bangalore
“Pottery Town was born when the Government gave 60 potters a designated area on a 30-year lease. The 23 families that are still in business here hope that this lease will be renewed. They hoped the land given to them next year, in the light of the work they are doing.” Today people buy these products for decoration and not for utilitarian purposes so the demand is less. Will these families be able to continue and flourish in this trade?
There, we saw a potter’s grandson happily playing in the roads. Will he be a potter too? He has dreams in his eyes, his little fingers meddle with clay often I am sure, but then will he want to be a potter or change tracks and abandon this trade??