Set in the rustic backdrop of the glorious historical monument called Gauhar Mahal, Bhopal Potters’ Market has been bringing Indian and International Ceramists together since 2011.
The Inception and The Journey
As narrated by Founder - Sonia Rashid
I first participated in a potters market at the Kala Ghoda Festival in 2009. This event not only got the ball rolling for potters markets all over the country, it also inspired me. Celebrating my work in a public and accessible space was a novel and exciting experience. Potters markets provide an intimate, interactive platform for potters and buyers to share, learn and nurture a local culture of studio pottery. This produces an enriching experience for everyone, especially the host city. Exhibitions await people; but people excitedly wait for their local market - therein lies the difference!
I just knew Bhopal had to have its very own potters market and what better a venue than Gauhar Mahal, a historical haveli with a view of the lake. With the help of family and friends, I hosted the first Bhopal Potters Market in December 2011 and was delighted by the response! Bhopalis came in throngs to imbibe and savour the creativity in clay showcased by our group of pan-Indian potters.
Anoop Joshi, affectionately known as Bunty, helped conceptualise the “look” of the Market. His use of light and stone put each piece in relief: glowing within the arches of age-old courtyards, the studio pottery took everyone's breath away as evening set in. We created a thirty-by-five-feet banner appliquéd with large colourful pots hand stitched by all the Bhopali potters. This became the market's logo. When the banner unfurls each year, it announces the market once more! Ameya Waingankar, a young student in 2011, and the son of a potter, designed our gate, which has also become synonymous with the Bhopal Potters Market.
The Bhopal market has been a ten year journey of an incredible coming together of friends and family, of potters and artists, of ngos and enthusiasts, of musicians and storytellers. It has become an integral part of the cultural calendar of Bhopal - a celebration of clay, creativity and camaraderie.
Highlights of Bhopal Potters' Market
Young and talented, experienced and established, a whole lot of artists come to the market to showcase and sell their ceramic artworks. The artists indulge in artful conversations with the locals and visitors about the beautiful form of art, that is the ceramic pottery.
The ceramics exhibition brings together the best of the pottery world in a showcase that's as exquisite as it is artistic. Eminent Indian ceramic artists of international repute like P.R Daroz, Jyotsna Bhatt, Ira Chaudhuri, Mansimran Singh, Mary Singh, Ray Meeker, Deborah Meeker & G. Reghu have exhibited with us so far.
Whether it's miniature or life-size ones, these installed art pieces have become a part of the market over years. We've showcased the exquisite water pots alongside the outskirts of Gauhar Mahal and some intricate Hands-in-Clay, Picture Board, etc installations as well.
Live Workshops And Talks
Live workshops by renowned artists add a bit of flair and excitement to the market. Our specialised interactions and demonstrations have become an essential part of the market for learners who are interested in ceramics as a medium of expression and skill.
The market is a place where a variety of cultures interact to narrate the stories of their traditions via various art forms. We host events like Dastan Goi, Drummers’ Circles, Music Recitals, and also performances by children with social messages.
Dastan Goi by Fazal & Fouzia
Stalls For NGOs
A little helping hand goes a long way. Various NGOs like Neev, Muskaan, Eklavya come together to set up their stalls and promote their social message in the outermost courtyard. Their years of presence have made a mark and an event that visitors look forward to eagerly!
Mementos And Merchandise
Over the years, we have crafted interesting notebooks, scarfs, bags, tools’ pouches, aprons, and more as a token of appreciation for the participating potters. We also put these items up for sale to generate some funds for the society.
Organising the market is a huge team effort, it is only possible with the support of all our potter friends, families and most importantly, the amazing Bhopalis who keep coming back every year to encourage us.
The Bhopal Potters' Development
We are an artist-lead non-profit organisation which has been working towards promoting and popularising ceramics as a medium of expression and as a craft.
Projects so far…
Bhopal Potters’ Market
We have successfully hosted the Bhopal Potters’ Market for almost a decade. It has now become a popular calendar event in Bhopal.
Alongside the potters’ market, we have been curating exhibitions with senior ceramists, which has generated definite interest and awareness regarding art-based ceramic practice amongst the visitors and participating potters. Simultaneous interactions between the senior artists, participating potters and visitors have proven successful in many ways.
Setting-up of a Pottery Studio at Muskaan
An NGO in Bhopal that works with underprivileged children. We are in the process of training students with pottery skills from the Muskaan school.
Organized by Bhopal Potters’
Development Welfare Society
The Bhopal Potters’ Market is a project by the Bhopal Potters Development Welfare Society.
Registration Number : 33476
Registered on 08.02.2018 with Assistant Registrar of societies
, Bhopal (Under Societies
Registration Act 1860)