A whole new set of adventures in week 2. This week I moved to a new home all my own. The first week I lived with a lovely couple that run a homestead called Eadens Hermitage. While visiting Nilambur last year, I was lucky enough to spend 10 days in this old traditional teak home. The consistently thoughtful Renu and her husband Dr. Thomas were gracious hosts. Providing me with home cooked meals and friendship. They also took me to a movie…my first theatre experience to see Om Shanti Oshana and although it was all in Malayalam….it was pretty easy to understand and super entertaining. I look forward to going back in the coming weeks to see another. As great as my first home was, after getting accustomed to things again here it was time to branch out on my own and get my own private residence.
Now I am living in a home to myself with sweet as sweet neighbours that are on the lookout for my safety, comfort and have already become deeply rooted in my heart. The mother in the family - Sheeja has been showering me with delicious meals every evening and I'm trying my best to document their prep in order to recreate these dishes at home. Something tells me as much as I will attempt the curries, sambar, roti & dosa (to name a few)….. her added ingredient of love and pride in her creations will be impossible to duplicate. I'm a little further outside of town now which is great to have nature surrounding me and the simple rural life. Rubber trees abound and men on motorbikes honk their horn daily as they ride past selling fish, vegetables & milk. Directly across the road from me is a tiny Hindu temple that plays loud joyous music every morning at 6am and again at 5:30 pm. I thought the morning music might be a little frustrating at times but it has proven to be the perfect alarm clock. Not usually dragging myself out of bed until closer to 7 but its nice to start the day with such upbeat tunes.
Studio work has been progressing nicely as well. The stick powered pottery wheel is still taking some getting used to but i love it. If I want to ship this stuff home at a reasonable rate I have to have a pretty large quantity of product. I'm realizing I can't and don't want to crank out the pots like a machine as I had first envisioned. Instead, I have been researching other locally made pots that I can purchase to add to my own creations for the Dorset studio. Along with my own pieces…. I have enlisted the help of pottery guru Narianah that has been potting for over 50 years. He is making more vessels for candle's and I'm thinking I will decorate them with holes and drawings. Wheel thrown and coil building large female forms have also been driving my creativity. Meanwhile, I have been learning more about Sherif's tile mosaic master pieces. He has a friendly and super talented staff that help to bring his ideas to life. Although much of his work is on the larger scale….we have been discussing ideas for smaller nature based pieces to bring home to Dorset. The first few designs have been completed and include many native to India fern motifs. It will be exciting to see how they look after they have been fired. Plans for expanding his kiln to accommodate a larger amount of pots and talk of a first firing taking place after another week of working.
I could go on and on….as there is so much to tell and describe but I'll end things here and check in again next week.
with love and gratitude
About This Journey
Combining my love of travel with my love of creating in clay comes this newest adventure. After spending 10 days in Nilambur last year during a 3 month exploration of India....I am returning to spend 9 weeks. Talented and generous clay artist - Sherif Nilambur invited me to share his studio space so here I am to take him up on his offer. The plan is loose in terms of what is being made and what will come of it but hearts are open so we can't go wrong.