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Conversation with Trail Blazers




Tea pot by Curators of Clay

Home is where your Teapots are

 

Some collect, some admire, some use and very few make. And out of the very few who make it, he is one of the finest that I am thrilled to know and have the complete pleasure of working with. I infuse my favourite Tea in the Teapots that he has crafted. My friends, if you haven’t heard or brought home Rohit Kulkarini’s Tea pots, I insist you look up Curators of Clay as soon as you have been a part of our conversation.


Rohit Kulkarni


Me

What made you want to hold clay after having headed the creative marketing team at UTV Motion Pictures, and being on the team that created incredible trailers for films like Barfi, Paan Singh Tomar etc. And I remember you mentioned, you also worked with MTV and radio! Am I right? What a fabulous journey, Rohit! Tell me more, tell me how come the switch?

Rohit

So I always did pottery as a hobby - I started learning while I was at MTV, I think around 2007 and pottery remained a constant companion, albeit as a very indulged hobby, even as I moved jobs, across television & radio, finally working in the holy grail of feature films (at UTV Motion Pictures, that later was bought over by Disney!).It's just that at some point I realised I love clay over celluloid! :)


Making ceramics a career was not an overnight decision. There was no life changing moment! I really loved all the jobs I had, even though I complained about all of it - much like so many of us!


Tea Pot by Curators of Clay

Me

I absolutely love the Teapots you make! Tell me what inspires you to create? What makes every Teapot so gorgeously distinct!

Rohit

I really can't explain why exactly teapots are my favourite form to craft! I just love how so many things come together in a teapot - there's the body, the spout, the handle and the lid - each is crafted separately and then all of these must come together to look, feel and function beautifully, in order to make a beautiful teapot!


I think I'm largely inspired visually, so it's always something I've seen or maybe read, that sparks something. But it's always random. So I can't really say.


What makes every teapot distinct is literally the number of factors that go into the making - there's the raw material, the clay, the glaze... Then there's the magic that happens in the kiln, where all the elements sort of do their own thing! Of course, there's the crafting that I'm responsible for... Just so many things...


Let's just say, it's magic!


Rohit Kulkarni at Curatos of Clay

Me

So Van life or a Farm life J Two distinct kinds of lifestyle but i know both are close to your heart.

Rohit

My choice would be farm life.


I've zero illusions about this though. I come from a family where my dad was literally the first person to move away from farming, like he was the first generation who moved away from an agricultural livelihood.


So I've no romance about the profession. It's incredibly hard.


But. I still harbour this dream.


Let's call it a goal / ambition - that makes it more real than a dream!


Of being a reclusive (but reasonably successful) craftsperson, creating beautiful, stunning teaware (teabowls, caddies, and of course, teapots!) living on a farmstead...


See, 8 or 9  years ago I was living in Mumbai, working in a movie studio... Now I am a full time potter, with a studio in Bhugaon... So...


It'll happen!


Me

If there was one Teapot that you had to take with you while you travelled or moved to a new city. Knowing you, I would think more that it would be a road with no name, tell me which Teapot out of your collection that you have made or own, would it be. And why that particular one?

Rohit

I think I'd want to craft teapots for every single such trip! :)

Not just my trips, but for the ones you'll take too!


Tea Chawan

Me

Is there a particular medium that you love to use while making a Teapot? And is there a style of making that you thoroughly enjoy? Any particular school that you follow?

Rohit

I work in stoneware. Our stoneware clay at Curators of Clay is made by Bhairavi, so it's clearly my medium of choice.


I've had the good fortune of working at Arita in Japan, which is the birthplace of Japanese porcelain, and working with that Grade A porcelain was incredible!


But I still prefer our stoneware clay. There's something sexy about its rawness. :)


I love all simple, straightforward, usable teapots - as long as they're just drop dead good lookin! (Yeah I'm shallow like that!)


One of the beautiful teapots by Curators of Clay

Me

Is there a potter past or present who you hugely admire and one particular reason why you do so?

Rohit

I've huge admiration for Euan Craig, who works and lives in a small village Minakami Machi, in Gunma prefecture, Japan. I love his work, his work ethic and I love his writing! (Euan San, if you're reading this, I am still hoping to come and learn from you! よろしくお願いします!)


From potters of the past, my hero would be Warren McKenzie - an American potter, who epitomizes the cool, skilled, happy craftsperson for me!


Me

What is your mantra to being the fabulous person that you are! What is it that you hold close and would not trade it for the world. 

Rohit

What a ridiculously flattering question, Ana!

I just wish I'm always able to be inherently happy & laugh at things no matter how screwed up it gets! I wouldn't trade good humour, health & happiness for anything - okie so that's 3 things, but all related I'd reckon!


Thankyou so much Rohit Kulkarni, Co Founder, Curators of Clay.


We'd love to hear from you; questions, suggestions, recommendations, topics we should write more about, etc.


Anamika







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very nice conversation

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