We Are What We Eat In
By Neha Malik
Photo By: Swapnil Dwivedi
As a newly married woman, the one thing that changed most was my time spent in the kitchen. Don’t get me wrong, I love cooking and post-marriage that is a craze that’s taken my husband over too. We spend most weekends at home cooking the yummiest treats. We enjoy hosting and each time we have friends at home I’d try to mix up my serve ware to make a new table-scape. I started collecting handmade pottery items and started building my collection. The obsession grew and I was always on a mission to find new tableware items, from art and craft fairs to pop up shops. But it wasn’t enough – I wanted more and it was this insanity and love for handmade pottery that made me start my own business.
In an effort to build this venture I traveled through different parts of India and comprehended that each state has a distinctive style of pottery depending on the clay available and styles developed over the years with local influences, culture and experiences. The use of clay was not limited to functional items but also included beautiful human and animal figurines, toys for children, large vases, etc.
The history of pottery dates back to 25,000 B.C with functional items coming in at around 10,000 B.C. Even though it’s a fragile item, it stands the test of time and that is why in most archeological excavations you will always find clay figurines and vessels being discovered.
Since learning more about stoneware and their potters, we have incorporated clay pots for cooking in our home, doing away with a lot of non-stick utensils. We have got back the achar ka barnis (Pickle jars), ceramic glasses, bowls, etc. We love spreading this joy and pottery pieces are our topmost choice as gifts in the festive season.
I can say from my experience that the slow cooking methods have added so much flavor to my food. The earthy colors, irregular shapes and handmade elements of pottery have brought so much warmth to my house. I feel in a way this keeps me connected to nature. Each morning when I eat my cereal in a handmade bowl or drink tea in my cup, it reminds me of the conversation I had with the potters who made it. Their experiences on how that piece was thought of and the effort that went into making it. It’s no longer an object but a new connection with someone far away from me.
In today’s fast paced life, we have the newest gadgets, fastest cars and all the latest international brands. But I wanted to get something different, that was bespoke, had character and something that reminded me of India while I’m away from home. What better way than bringing some Indian pottery home!
Neha expects to launch a new website for online orders in the summer, but if you would like to order a custom piece please email her at [email protected]