Slice of life: ‘Pottery is an art and I’m an artist’

Every person has a story to share. This weekly column puts the spotlight on the people of Chennai — faces we see but rarely interact with — giving a glimpse into their struggles, hopes and dreams
Slice of life: ‘Pottery is an art and I’m an artist’
Kuppan shapes a mud pot at his humble abode

Chennai

Kuppan, Potter - I am a potter from Vada Numbal village, situated between Poonamallee and Thiruverkadu. There is a tradition of pottery in our village. The families here have been into the art of making pottery for more than 100 years and we earn our livelihood from it. But sadly, the next generation is not warming up to the idea of taking up pottery as a profession and I don’t blame them. People do not need many pots in the city these days and the availability of the right kind of soil is also a major concern. So one can’t earn much from it. Also, the younger generation is getting educated and prefers to opt for other means of livelihood that provides more money. My family has been into pottery for many generations. It has been our bread and butter for decades. I have three children - two sons and a daughter. My daughter is married and happily settled. Both my sons are engineering graduates. But they haven’t found jobs yet. They might move to the city for better prospects. Neither of them wants to take up pottery. Firstly, they are not trained for it and secondly, they want to earn more. So, I will never force them to take it up. They are free to choose what they want to do. I don’t earn much and it is going to be difficult to sustain my family with this profession. But, I love what I do. Pottery is an art and I’m an artist. I will continue with it till I am alive. After that, I know it will not survive in my family.
As told to Justin George

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