KOCHI: Creating fine art in ceramics is a kind of delicate poetry. Ceramic sculptures have a unique character. They sport vibrant hues, textures and shapes while exuding a sense of elegance and grandeur.
Everyone is familiar with the utilitarian world of ceramics. But its alternate tap, the manifestation of poetry between its folds, may not be. Byju SR, a 60-year-old artist is on a mission to demonstrate this, shaping a dynamic range of ceramic works of art.
Kerala has not opened up to the world of ceramic art, explains artist Byju. “Ceramics is a medium with endless possibilities. It is a mixture of various clays. You can mold it in a plethora of shapes, textures, and colors. You can do anything from earrings to ceramic sculptures, ”says Byju, who has set up a studio named Cerabaag in his home in Thiruvananthapuram.
Byju uses Raku, a type of Japanese pottery traditionally used in Japanese tea ceremonies, in his workshop. After graduating from the College of Fine Arts, Byju went to Baroda to learn the art of ceramics. “There were few places that taught the trade in Kerala. It hasn’t changed even now. And that’s why I created a ceramic workshop where people can come and learn the art, ”he says. Recently, he ran a workshop which gives people hands-on experience in ceramic craftsmanship.
According to Byju, it is not necessary to have a professional training to become a ceramist. “Anyone interested can learn it. We have ovens in the studio to help people practice, ”he says.
Byju has been seduced by the world of ceramics since his childhood. “I was curious about how the shapes were formed. Here, we practice Raku. So once we take the carved object out of the oven after baking, the change in temperature brings texture and color. You get different colors and textures depending on the temperature. It’s a more natural process, ”explains the sculptor.
Byju says his dream is to keep learning and experimenting. “I want to learn more about art and also pass my knowledge on to more people. Ceramic clay is magic. It brings many distinct characteristics to your craft that help it stand out, ”says Byju.
The artist is ready to start ceramic workshops in famous tourist spots in the state such as Kumarakom, Ponmudi, Vagamon and others.