By Hand From The Heart is a curated Makers Market event in South India. Upcoming Events: 22nd Edition: 2nd – 3rd February '18 in Coimbatore | 23rd Edition: 16th – 17th – February '18 in Chennai.
Shilpy Gupta is a trained ceramic artist. Shilpy has been working on her craft for the last 15 years from her travels & her studio in Bangalore.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I seek to elevate pottery from a form of craft to an art form. I started out in the world of art by experimenting with oil on canvas. My first exposure to pottery came in 2001 in Maryland and Virginia, USA when I trained under various studio potters. As a member of ALOG, I exhibited my work periodically in the USA. Over time, I have been trying to marry pottery and painting by treating my wheel thrown pieces as canvases for fine brush work.
How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making & creating?
Inspired by the journey of clay from the earth to the furnace and then to our homes, I see the creation of each piece as a journey of form to finesse and then to function. My work seeks to explore the fluid boundary between functional pottery and art.
Tell us about your recent works & your proposed showcase at By Hand, From The Heart.
For this show, I have designed creations around three themes
Recognize you when you
first come ’round the corner.
Sense your scent when I come
into a room you’ve just left.
Know the lift of your heel,
the glide of your foot.
Become familiar with the way
you purse your lips
then let them part,
just the slightest bit,
when I lean in to your space
and kiss you.
I want to know the joy
of how you whisper
What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration? Can you describe your creative process and what is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?
A conversation with a friend, a branch of a tree or sunlight peering through a window grill, can all be the seed for a new piece. What the piece is about, always comes before how it should look. Once the concept crystallizes, then the shape and colours fall into place. The process of creating a piece can take anywhere from 2 to 4 weeks.
Often, it is the theme which is closer to my heart than the shape itself and hence I try to create a series of pieces around the theme. Though the most time consuming, the brush work and the detail is also the most rewarding and enriching part of the entire process for me. On the other hand the unpredictability that the firing process brings to the physical and emotional investment in each piece is the most challenging part of the work. Hence, once the work turns out the way I had envisioned it, it is all the more satisfying.
What’s the best thing about being an artist?
Bringing a smile on someone’s lips as your work evokes either beautiful memories or unfamiliar feelings.. Working with clay is even more special as my work not only enriches someone’s life but gets to be a part of their everyday too. Of course, the freedom to create what I want and when I want it doesn’t hurt.
What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?
First, pour yourself in your work and it’ll show. Second, sell stuff which you think if offered to you, you’ll buy.
Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?
I am planning a series of pieces around the sound of music later this year which I am excited about. I am also looking forward to a housewarming where I did a significant number of commissioned pieces ranging from bed tiles to candle stands. Lastly, I am planning an online event for my work towards the end of this year.
Can you describe your work place / space? What is a typical day at “Ceramic Trails” like.