Heavy October rains hit potters

Pottery Town potters are complaining of expensive raw materials owing to the unusually heavy October rains.

Sromona Bhattacharya

Clay pots drying in the sun at Pottery town

Bangalore, November 21, 2017: Incessant October rains have left the potters of Pottery Town in a state of despair since they have to shell out extra on raw material. A month after the rains have let up, the aftermath of the heavy rains was still felt by a vast majority of the potters of the century-old Pottery Town.

Raw material seemed to be a major concern of the potters. Most of them complained of the lakes being filled as result of the October rainfall.

Murli, a potter, pointed out that since a majority of the city lakes are polluted with sewage and rainfall, they are now forced to acquire clay from far-off villages—some of them 60 kilometres away from Bangalore.
For a tractor-load of clay, he now has to pay Rs. 9,000 which is double the price he usually pays, he added.

Another potter, Rajsekhar, who’s been a resident of Pottery Town for nearly 70 years, explained, good quality clay is required for pottery. That can rarely be found in Bangalore. The rains have made matters worse as the clay needed has to be completely dry, which is nonstarter with the city lakes now.

Rajshekhar too has to pay double the previous price for one tractor-load (2.5 tonnes) of clay. “There was little supply in the past two months. Furthermore, it’s only in the first week of November that I got my first load for Rs. 12,000 which is usually Rs. 6,000,” he added. 

Govardhan, another potter said this problem of unavailability of raw materials is mostly prevalent among potters who make it in their homes, however, for potters who gets the finished products from elsewhere, the bigger problem is the low demand for the finished products.

Ramanuja, a clay modelling instructor at Bangalore said clay is a restricted mining material and it cannot be mined directly. He said the central problem with traditional potters is they get their materials on an on-demand basis. Therefore, heavy rainfall is a huge challenge.

Afroz Ulla, a potter at Clay Station Pvt. Ltd. said they do not face any problem of raw materials since they stock up. Middle men get the dried and powdered clay which is easier to store.

Apart from the shortage of raw materials, Pottery Town is riddled with a myriad of problems right from having to buy firewood at commercial rates to lack of electric furnaces and even clay drying spaces, says Rajshekhar.


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