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NOVICA Artisan Neha Gopinath Pillai

Neha Gopinath Pillai

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I love working with clay. It has always fascinated me because of the creative freedom it offers. It twists and turns easily and, since it is porous, it soaks in a gazillion colors, allowing a lot of room for creativity and experimentation.

What I know about the ceramic arts has been self-taught or learned from my mentor, a teacher by profession with more than 20 years of experience. Since 2008, I have been working and attending seminars to learn more and widen my horizon.

"The decision to quit a steady job and make my hobby a full time career was a huge challenge. But the moral backing I have from my family is immense. It's been a journey since I set up my workshop in 2012, and I've faced issues ranging from basic requirements like space and assistants to more complicated situations, but I'm proud of the way I handled them with the help and advice of loved ones.

"One day, I'd like to have a small fully-equipped studio that not only would be my workplace but also act as a platform for budding artisans. I want to travel and learn more about the art.

"When we look around, there is absolutely no dearth of inspiration. A dainty leaf, a mythological form or just what you happen to see outside your window — everything influences my designs!

"I believe a wide variety of art forms can be made with environmentally friendly choices while keeping our traditional practices alive."