Jyotsna Bhatt: High priestess of fire and clay passes away


“Simplicity and vividness were the best attributes to describe her art and ceramics. Simplicity, for her, meant silent sophistication. Nature was her leitmotif. She framed forms through her own understanding of nature and human experience.

A ceramic cat or owl was more than just an artwork for her. She glazed her ceramics in such an inimitable way, giving them evocative rugged and rough surfaces.

Jyotsna behen, as she was popularly called, considered Ira Chaudhri as the Guru of the Indian ceramic movement. In India where a lot of ceramic work has echoes of borrowing/imitation, Jyotsna behen’s intrinsic understanding of the relationship between form and the ferment became her signature.

Her sculpted entities around nature, the spontaneity of clay and the marvels of expression speaking through her plant forms, owls and smiling cats.

Born Jyotsna Shroff in 1940 at Mandvi in Kutch, she lost her father early but her uncle saw her aptitude in fine arts and encouraged her to pursue it.

Her journey at the wheel began in the 1960s in Vadodara. A high priestess of the world of minerals and fire and clay, she looked around her garden at Vadodara for stimulus and inspiration.

Married to celebrated artist and Padma Shri, Jyoti Bhatt, she always maintained that her husband was very supportive and her family played an important part in her achievements.

She studied sculpture under Prof. Sankho Chaudhuri at the famed M.S. University at Baroda and later ceramics at the Brooklyn Museum Art School in the U.S. Returning to India she taught at, and later headed the Department of Ceramics at her alma mater until her retirement in 2002.

Her sensitivity and her distinct sensibility was born of a deep understanding of the arts and crafts heritage of Gujarat. Her journey saw the genesis of a silent yet robust modernist potter, who was at home in the contemporary world and comfortable in her own skin, sharing secrets as she went along.”

Read the full article on her life and work HERE.

Craft Ways Symposium

Craft Ways 2020: Tending to Craft
July 30 – August 1, 2020
Asheville, North Carolina

Craft Ways 2020: Tending to Craft is a symposium focusing on issues in contemporary craft surrounding the intentional care of craft. Using the theme of Tending, this inaugural gathering will engage multiple approaches to the embodied study and practice of craft. Together, participants will work to understand how artists, craftspeople, curators, and scholars explore histories of craft. Learning from individual work in the collective context of a symposium, we aim to reveal the multiplicities of craft studies.

By mixing work by established and emerging researchers and craftspeople, Craft Ways 2020 aims towards intergenerational exchanges of knowledge and information embedded in craft, while simultaneously engaging dynamism and shifts in contemporary discourse.

Through a variety of modes of sharing research—from individual to group formats—Craft Ways 2020 centers interdisciplinary collaboration and intersectional thinking through a merger of form and content. Sessions may include skill-building workshops, breakout brainstorming sessions, participatory discussions, research presentations, readings, and more.

For more information, please contact Craft Research and Innovation Manager Lola Clairmont at lclairmont@centerforcraft.org

About the Partnership

Craft Ways 2020 is co-presented by the Center for Craft and the MA in Critical Craft Studies program at Warren Wilson College. As program partners, this gathering exemplifies the type of generative collaboration that builds intergenerational networks to recognize and support future craft practice, research, and scholarship.

The Center for Craft is the leading national nonprofit working at the intersection of culture and higher education to advance the understanding of craft. Located in Asheville, NC, the Center offers quality arts programming and exhibitions free to the public, in addition to a nationally recognized grant program that serves artists, curators, and scholars throughout the United States.

Warren Wilson College’s Masters in Critical Craft Studies is the first and only low-residency graduate program in craft history and theory. Warren Wilson College, a private four-year liberal arts college in the Swannanoa Valley, North Carolina, provides a distinctive undergraduate and graduate education that combines academics, work, and service.


Help support the next stage of @potsinaction

via: Garland Magazine

“Ayumi Horie reflects on the groundbreaking Instagram project, Pots in Action—why she started it and why she has decided to finish it.”

@potsinaction has run its course; I’ve changed and so has Instagram. After 2,400 posts covering a vast range of clay and ceramics globally, @potsinaction will be archived as a website so it can remain a functional resource for the field. @potsinaction expanded a liminal space between pop culture and academia. It turned on people outside the field of ceramics to ceramics by introducing them to a world beyond Paint Your Own Pottery and stuffy museum cases. It became a staple resource for students doing research and for professionals in the field, it dug deeply into what we thought we knew well. For four years, this collaborative project consistently created new content and tried to show not only the best work, but also the unexpected and ubiquitous ways that clay touches lives.”

Read more and DONATE to the archiving of this incredible resource HERE.