It is a rather quiet area in one of the outer city parts of Coimbatore. The streets are small and the colourful, one and two room houses at the right and left reflect the lifestyle of its habitants. It is – compared with many other Indian streets in the surroundings – a very clean and structured area, somehow cosy and with a specific ‘flair: the pottery quarter of the city.
Like many other handicrafts and crafts, the tradition of pottery making in India is very ancient. Pottery is one of those important mediums through which men have expressed their emotions. For thousands of years pottery art has been one of the most beautiful forms of expression. Every piece of pottery is like a visual message. There are big jugs, pots and bowls, masks and statues … and all are telling moments from Indians history. Thousands of small bowls are put there, drying at the sun. Those are the bowls which are offered with some oil and candlesticks in front of temples and holy places. Put all together here at one place they form some arts on their own.
An Indian woman asks to come into her small pottery workshop just for demonstrating how these miniature bowls are formed. It does not even take half a minute to produce one.
On the other site of the street an entire family is busy with producing pottery horses and masks. Once these items are ready they will take them to shops or sell them at some place in the city. A group of men has formed a selfhelp group some months before and put money together to get a loan. With this money they have bought some essential machines to start a carpenter’s business. Proudly, they show what they have set up.
Friends and family members are around and it seems to be an entire community of handicraft and crafts people. This is not the place where they sell, not the tipical Indian tourist points, but this area here is their home, the location where their life takes place.