If you must fit into a mould this summer, I recommend a class at The Pottery Lab. Rekha Goyal, who graduated in ceramics from Sir JJ School of Art and has a Masters of Arts in Architecture, has been running her studio at Pali Hill, Bandra since 1999. People are still discovering this charming open space though, which crouches just behind the shadow of a Bandra bungalow and underneath the shade of thick foliage.
Draped with breezy white muslin and scored by chirping birds, working the wheel at The Pottery Lab quickly starts to feel like a vacation. You'll see.
I signed up for a five-week beginner’s course, where Rekha takes you through the basics of ceramics and pottery across 10 two-hour long sessions. Each batch has a total of four students, so there's plenty of individual attention and welcome distractions in the form of chirping birds. We learned the basics of hand-building, agate, glazing, different design techniques, and of course an introduction to the wheel. Through the course, Rekha allows you to choose the objects you’d like to make, as well as the colours and designs, and is encouraging enough to praise your crooked bowl. It feels a little like being back in school, learning a new skill, and taking home your misshapen artwork to proudly stick on your fridge door.
I really enjoy working with my hands, and creating things, but I hadn't anticipated the sense of calm this pottery class would bring. If I got to class feeling at-sea, after two hours working with the clay, I'd always leave feeling more relaxed and often much happier. There's something therapeutic about working with clay, especially at the wheel.
After the beginner’s module, you can graduate to an advanced course where you're able to customise your sessions (weekday and weekend available) based on the specific technique you'd like to learn. Rekha also teaches single session workshops, which are great to gift or can be a fun way to spend an evening with some friends. At the end of my first course, I left with some clay, a tool kit for practice, and the day dream of having my own little ceramic studio some day.
Urning my stripes, one workshop at a time.
Getting there: The Pottery Lab, 76 Nargis Dutt Road, Pali Hill, Bandra (W). To sign up and for other details, visit https://www.rekhagoyal.com.
This story is contributed by Neysa Mendes, founder of @goodslice.
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