Little pots of luck

Little pots of luck

It’s always the small things in life that give one the most pleasure. For Senthil Kumar, who works at General Electric (GE), it was small pots that gave him the much needed relaxation after a hard day at work.

Although he had an inclination towards painting, Senthil had lost touch with it after he passed out of college.

But he rediscovered this passion three years ago through his hobby –– miniature pot painting. Interestingly, the idea struck to him when he was browsing through a gift shop.

“I had to buy a gift for one of my friends and found everything too expensive. I came across small-painted pots, but they were too expensive and felt that I could make them myself. Since I was always keen on interior decoration, I thought why not give it a shot by painting on the pots myself,” he says.

Thus started his journey into the world of miniature pot painting. Though he doesn’t make the pots himself, he has struck a good deal with a potter in Pottery Town, who makes small pots for him. He mainly uses pots of two sizes –– one of two-inches height and the other, three-to-four inches high.

“To my luck, this turned out to be a very affordable hobby as the potter charges me only Rs 5 for the small one and Rs 10 for the big one,” says Senthil, who paints a maximum of four to five pots a month.

Ask him why he chose to paint only the miniature pots and he says, “That’s where the real challenge lies. I used to first paint on paper but never found it inspiring. Though I do paint on big pots, I felt that smaller ones will be far more challenging and interesting to do.”

Painting on miniature pots is no easy job. Senthil says that unlike a paper, the clay pot has a rough surface. The two important things to keep in mind are making enough time for the hobby and having a steady hand. 

A closer look at each of the pots and one will see some very intricate designs and art work on them. Each one of these is different and can brighten up any room. Senthil likes ‘Warli art’ a lot, so one can see a lot of village sequences on the pots. He also uses M-seal on the pots to make these more creative.

“I mainly use acrylic paints as they are easy to maintain and give the pots a matte finish,” says Senthil, who takes at least one-and-a-half hours to complete work on one pot.
There used to be a time when he used to first draw on the pot and then fill it with paint.
“But as time flew, I became more confident with my work and I started painting on the pots directly. These pots with the art work hardly need any maintenance. The acrylic paint allows you to wash these with water and the designs don’t fade over time. In fact, these are lovely decorative items for the house. All I suggest is not to rub it with a rough surface,” he explains.

While his passion lies in painting on these little pots, at times, Senthil also paints on clay bells and bigger pots.  Art, he says, cannot be forced. “Sometimes, it takes me three to four days to finish a pot. It all depends on my mind. You cannot do justice to your work if your mind is not free. This has been a big stress-buster for me but at the same time, I have to completely dedicate my time to this hobby,” he adds.

While he has around 40 to 50 painted pots at the moment, he prefers to gift them to his family and friends. But that’s not all.  Many of his women colleagues, who have appreciated his work, recently asked him to teach them the craft as well.

And he is more than willing to do so. “Anyone with a little inspiration and passion can make this a hobby. This is not a business for me but a passion that I am willing to share,” he wraps up.

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