SAIIER 2018:White Peacock Ceramic Studio

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“Veil: Two Sisters”
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Yoga awareness and demonstration in ten bioregion villages
White Peacock Ceramic Studio


The ‘White Peacock’ creative space offers guided classes as well as ‘open space’ activities for all age groups – from 3 to 90 years. This is the possibility for Aurovilians to explore the unique, responsive material and the altogether magic process of the ceramic media. We exist for inspired amateurs and children; focus is on the joyful process of self-discovery and research on hand building clay techniques. We offer regular classes, occasional workshops, and participate in Auroville festivals and exhibitions in the spirit of unending education and openness for the new creative ideas.

Activities of the year:

Anna and Saraswati are the teachers (Anna is working with adults while Saraswati is mostly focused on children), with the help of Fedor (technical support – kilns servicing, exploration of the most effective ways of firing). Our activities take place all round the year (including school holidays), based at the ‘White Peacock’ clay club building, Kindergarten compound, Center Field.

This year we held the regular classes:

  • Adults – 2 times a week (7-10 participants)
  • TLC school – 2 times a week (5-7 participants)
  • Sunday class (up to 30 people)

Other events of the year included:

  • Final exhibition by four graduating children (Masha, Hye Yoon, Bhavio, Narayan) at Savitri Bhavan in April 2018 (with the general theme of Scripts, Signs, Letters)
  • Methodical support for Kindergarden clay class (ongoing)
  • Consulting representatives of educational institutions on how to start a clay workshop (on request)
  • One week workshop for Tibetan students visiting Auroville (10 people participated)
  • Workshops for visiting students
  • Teachers training workshops

Reflections:

This year we explored many new techniques and deepened the knowledge of the old methods with our students/club members.

The four students who gave the exhibition held the tasks of arranging the exhibition all by themselves, learning on the go all the accompanying skills of the artists: communication with the gallery, transportation of the pieces and pedestals, visual design of the exhibition space, etc.

As a venue for the event they selected a mysterious garden room of Savitri Bhavan that has an “Alice in Wonderland” spirit.

The exhibition was received very well, and the Savitri Bhavan team invited White Peacock club to do more exhibitions in future.

Goals for next year:

  1. To continue conducting regular classes. To explore further the endless possibilities of clay work.
  2. To work towards an exhibition at the end of the school year showcasing the works of the children and adults. Most of the students will be making solo as well as team projects for the exhibition.
  3. To participate in fourth annual Auroville Potters Market (end of January 2019). Apart from being the main fundraising event, this Festival dedicated to Pottery gives amazing feeling of being a part of the professional community, gives the opportunity to interact with the other masters and to learn from them. Students and teachers of ‘White Peacock’ bring some life to an event too, offering clay related activities at the spot.
  4. To involve more people in teaching – volunteers, interns, guest artists while they are visiting Auroville.
  5. To purchase and install all the equipment for the Raku firing, and to start a successful Raku learning process with the elder children as the main force and younger children as involved observers.
  6. To celebrate our 10 years of the existence of White Peacock studio. In fact, we completed 10 years in March 2018, but we had to postpone a celebratory event for one year because of too many things happening in winter 2018, Auroville's 50th birthday.
  7. To include in our process 6-year-old children from Kindergarten and Nandanam. This will be our living experiment on bringing up our potential students from an earlier age.

Conclusion:

We are ready to share all the experience we went through while putting up an educative clay studio – from fundraising and choosing the right equipment to the professional techniques and materials available. At the moment we have a request from one charity organization working with AIDS victims on helping them to improve their clay process and product design. We will invite the representatives to Auroville in October for one week intense sharing program.