People often visit Goa because of the experiences of loved ones or due to online reviews on Google.
While search engines showcase Goa as merely a place where they can get packages to see monuments, unwind on the beach and have a good time, some people showcase another side of Goa.
Take, for example, Shruti Mascarenhas, a potter from the village of Socorro, North Goa, who is getting Goa noticed for other reasons.
In recent years, Google has emerged as a source for resolving queries related to diverse topics, such as going on a holiday. When a person thinks of visiting Goa, they chalk out a plan to make their trip memorable.
While these involve various activities, a lot of it revolves around the experiences of people who have visited the state in the past. Although going for walks on beaches, and visiting monuments is a great way to relax, Goa has layers of beauty that many people are not aware of.
HOUSE OF CLAY
Shruti's fascination for pottery began when she was 10, on seeing the terracotta cooking pots used by her mother and grandmother.
A recipient of the National Fellowship of the Art and Culture Department, Central Government of India, Shruti is a potter from the village of Socorro, in North Goa. She opened her own studio, called ‘Ceracotta - The House of Clay’, in 2017.
Her venture focused on promoting terracotta objects, which featured in various exhibitions such as New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week and others.
While the items made by her have been featured in several publications over the years, they can also be found in the High Court of Bombay at Goa, and several boutique restaurants. Her works on ceramics were also selected for the Lalit Kala Exhibition by the Central Government Art and Culture Department of India.
Rather than making objects for the masses, she is a specialist in custom pottery. Her designs consist of a wide variety of products such as murals and sculptures, and are crafted manually.
Shruti goes the extra mile to ensure that she never replicates her designs. This process is accomplished by tactics such as focusing on other commitments as soon as a particular project is completed. This diversion doubles as an avenue for exploring diverse approaches. The materials which she utilises in her work are eco-friendly, and don’t contain hazardous substances.
Apart from this, she also shows concern about the health of her clients by keeping the glazes food grade. While this is healthy from the perspective of the public, her choices are limited while working on individual pieces. An order typically takes fifteen to forty days, depending on the size of the projects undertaken.
Not only are her products handcrafted, but she also relies on natural procedures for drying them. She uses this technique to strengthen the objects she makes.
Despite being an experienced potter, she believes in the philosophy of learning. She promotes this art by teaching newbies. Due to the nature of the art, she teaches just one student at a time.
This method allows her to give complete attention to the student. She firmly believes in growing in her journey by sharing her knowledge with others. She, thus, feels proud to give something back to the community of potters.
A NEW DIRECTION
While pursuing her postgraduate degree from The Fine Arts College at The Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, Gujarat, she felt drawn towards the works of ceramic artists who owned spacious studious, and worked lengthy hours to explore their creativity.
Upon returning to Goa, Shruti, who had been working as a factory manager with Marcou Artifacts, in Corlim, decided to replicate a few procedures. She followed her heart’s desire and finally set up her very own studio at home, thus following her passion without compromising on her responsibilities as a wife and a mother.
Shruti Mascarenhas has a digital presence and can be found on Facebook as @ceracotta.goa and on Instagram as #ceracottathehouseofclay