Hand-crafted Ceramic Art and Pottery by Pratima Vaidya

“We create hand-crafted ceramic art for contemporary interiors,” says Pratima Vaidya of her pottery studio, Ishalgad Ceramics & Pottery, nestled in the lush green hills of the Western Ghats, 65-odd kilometres from Mumbai. “We do studio pottery, a concept where the products are hand-made and produced in small quantities.”

The concept has worked well for Pratima—in essence, it is responsible for the steady success of Pratima Vaidya’s exclusive collection of ceramics. As a sculptor, painter, and ceramist, she has acquired a well-deserved reputation for producing finely hand-crafted and exclusive ceramic art and pottery for the urban, contemporary interiors of today’s homes and offices. Now, in keeping with our dedication to presenting carefully curated selections, Arastan is proud to showcase a limited-edition line of products by Pratima.

A creative journey that began 30 years ago

"Face Off" Ceramic Wall Art Tile

“Face Off” Ceramic Wall Art Tile
Two male faces interacting silently but forcefully

In 1973, Pratima earned a Fine Arts diploma from the Sir J. J. School of Arts, Mumbai, where her natural talent and skills were honed and developed. After graduation, she went on to win further laurels (and medals) in mural design, painting, sculpture and clay modelling. Her thirst for knowledge and focus on enhancing her artistic skill set later impelled her to attend a course on “Fresco – a way of painting walls,” at Banasthali Vidyapeeth in Rajasthan.

Pratima’s rapidly growing reputation for creativity and skill as a ceramist won her multiple high-profile commissions in quick succession. Amongst the most notable were a mural for the Central Hall of Citibank, Mumbai; a 775-square-foot terracotta mural depicting the Indian Agricultural Scene for the Fourth National Agricultural Fair in Nagpur; three 7’ x 5’ murals for the Ramada Hotel, Goa; a mural for the Police Headquarters in Baghdad, Iraq; and a 485-square-foot mural for Muscat Municipality, in the Sultanate of Oman.

Ceramic art in high-fire stoneware

Pratima’s ceramic art is made from high-fire stoneware. Stoneware, though dense, is impermeable and hard enough to resist scratching by a steel point, and is more opaque. It is usually coloured grey or brown because of impurities in the clay used for its manufacture, and is normally glazed. Stoneware is a much stronger clay as a result of being fired to very high temperatures of about 1100-1300 degrees Celsius, becoming vitreous in the process.

All stoneware is ceramic; ceramic, however, is never stoneware. When fired or heated to form its shape, stoneware has a darker, more textured look to it than plain ceramic. Unlike ceramic, stoneware may be left undecorated and unglazed when it is finished. It can, and often is, decorated with coloured glazes (as is the case with Pratima’s Arastan collection) with an optional clear glaze coating, and then re-fired. When stoneware is fired to maturity, it becomes a sturdy, chip-resistant material, much stronger and durable than earthenware or plain ceramic. This technique, while allowing a tremendous amount of creativity, also makes the end result more beautiful and durable.

The Western Ghats

Ishalgad Ceramics & Pottery is located in the lush green hills of the Western Ghats, near Irshalgad Fort

A studio in the hills, capturing nature’s beauty

Pratima’s ceramic art and pottery have been inspired by nature, and by life in all its myriad forms. The location of her studio in the misty foothills of the Western Ghats, makes this easy and natural. Ever since its inception, Ishalgad Ceramics & Pottery (set up by Pratima and her husband, Ajit) has committed itself to designing and making exclusive, handcrafted products such as ceramic art, decorative pottery, distinctive housewares, extraordinary handmade tiles, exotic sculptures and larger-than-life murals in ceramic stoneware.

Today, Pratima Vaidya is taking her talent and creativity into many more homes and workplaces, with finely crafted, beautifully designed ceramic art and pottery—a collection that Arastan is happy to showcase. It’s a selection that will fit into any décor environment and give it just the style and cachet it needs to set it apart.

"Life's Race" Ceramic Wall Art Tile

“Life’s Race” Ceramic Wall Art Tile
A horse race, suggesting that life itself is a race

 

 

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