Ceramic Stoneware from Auroville
Pottery from Auroville has over the past few decades become a by word for stoneware glazed pottery in India. International potters and designers have introduced, and established many studios, as well as a pottery school in Pondicherry, and Auroville. The Golden Bridge Pottery, loosely connected to the Aurobindo Ashram, was the first workshop to make glazed stoneware in South India. All the potters in Auroville have learnt pottery at this workshop, before setting out to create works of their own.
There are now more than 15 pottery studios and small- scale units in the area making everything from raku to porcelain, employing scores of people. Some village potters in Auroville have also upgraded themselves with this introduction of stoneware, finding alternatives to the traditional terracotta work.
Two main types of clay bodies are used for production - stoneware (white) and red (terracotta) bodies. Different clays are sourced from places across the country such as Rajasthan, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh. Clay that is locally available is also blended into the required proportions to create these clay bodies. The technique consists of wheel-throwing for tea sets and crockery; slip-casting with liquid clay for vases; slab building and glazing.