Functional pottery

Know how the utilitarian aspect of pottery remains Ira’s touchstone.

I have on principle believed in making functional pottery. People should use individually hand made pots rather than those manufactured. Also it is a very good discipline—throwing repetitive shapes. Function imposes some limitations on shapes, for example a tea pot should pour well, a jug must not drip or a mug should be comfortable to hold, etc. I used to always make sets to adhere to all that, but it is a bit of a bore. Especially since I don’t throw effectively in spite of doing it for over fifty years.

It is through the function of a pot that she reaches out to an understanding of its form, and in that way links herself to the traditions of the pottery of the past and also to the traditions of contemporary pottery in the West.

From her early works one can see a relationship between the shape of the form and its embellishment. As Chaudhuri had decided to make only functional pottery, this demand that utility enforces to make a large number of artefacts has allowed Chaudhuri to develop her language and relationship between the form and decoration freely.

As I am growing older, I have decided to let go of my principles and discipline and work just as I please.