TERRACOTTA CRAFTS CENTREat ChittoorANDHRA PRADESHIndia
Design Report commissioned by District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) Chittoor, A.P. June 2005
Kiran KeswaniBangalore, INDIA
Developing a Terracotta Crafts ClusterIntroduction The Creative Process Existing work environment KVIC Technology transfer centre Artisans Training Other Pottery units Gantavur village statistical information
Architectural DesignSite study Analysis of the location Recommendations from the Potters Architecture in the region Craft centers in India Concept design
Part IDeveloping the Terracotta Crafts clusterIntroduction The Creative Process Existing work environment KVIC Technology transfer centre Artisans Training Other Pottery units Gantavur village statistical information
IntroductionThe District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) proposes to develop a Terracotta Crafts Centre at Gantavur village in Palamaner mandal, in the Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh. This Crafts cluster will be located on the Bangalore-Chennai highway NH-4 on a 3.5 acre plot. Over the last 15 years, potters have moved to this area and today there are about 20 small open-air outlets alongside the highway, where 40 artisans display their work. The DRDA realised the need to develop an area where the potter community would live and work and also exhibit and market their crafts. The Mandal Revenue office (MRO) has granted a piece of land to the DRDA to house the potter community. It is proposed that a Terracotta crafts cluster be created which will benefit these 40 artisan families. The origin of this enterprise along the national highway lies in the coming of K.Allappa from his village in Madanapalle to look for a more lucrative marketing outlet. He found that he could start selling along the highway and learnt through relatives living in the area that the mud was suitable for pottery work. At present, there exists already a KVIC Technology Transfer centre at this site. This centre was set up a year and a half ago. One year ago, the machines were installed which include a Pugmill, a Ballmill, a Gas kiln and a Spray painting machine.
The Creative Process
K.Allappa at work
a deepam stand
the bells for a chime
Nanjappa making the chimes
a candle stand
Existing work environment
The Potters use two kinds of mud mixed together to make their products. Black mud is brought from Malerucheruvu, which is on the way to Poonur Road and is about 4 km away from the existing KVIC centre. It is purchased at Rs.300 /truckload. The Red mud is brought from Madanapalle Cheruvu or Agaralakunta cheruvu, which is 1 km away. It is picked up at Rs.150 / truckload. The above photographs show potters at work just outside their homes which are a few hundred yards away from the KVIC centre. These houses are part of a colony which has formed with potters gradually moving into this region.
KVIC Technology Transfer Centre
The present KVIC centre consists of an AC sheet roof over brick walls. It has a few windows to let in the natural light and ventilation, and a cement floor. There is a rolling shutter along the long side of the wall which is kept open during the day. The potters say they will prefer a workshed model based on this existing KVIC centre building.
The potters create and modify the craft products as they perceive a demand for a particular kind of object. Today, many of the products are painted after they have been made on the wheel, because customers seem to show a preference for painted objects rather than the natural terracotta ones. However, it is only a particular middle-income group customer base that prefers this aesthetic. It does not appeal to the highend customer who prefers to buy the natural look terracotta object. The artisans may therefore need training for products that will also sell in the high-end market in chennai and bangalore and that can also be exported.
Past Training Programs
1. K.Allappa trained under Ramaiah when the DRDA center at Gantevaripalle offered an 8 month training program in terracotta craft-making. 2. From 24 Feb to 10 March 2005, a workshop was organised by the National Institute of Fashion technology (NIFT), Hyderabad. It was sponsored by the Development Commissioner, Handicrafts. There were 13 members of the potters community who participated and the stipend offered was Rs.150/day
Future Training Possibilities Kumbham, Kerala
Aruvacode is a small village near Nilambur in North Kerala which has been famous for its potters. With the influx of cheap industrial substitutes, these villagers had all but lost their traditional skills, when a small movement led by designer K.B. Jinan, rekindled their hope. Together, they explored the possibilities of terra-cotta suited for the modern context and Kumbham was born. Today Kumbham is hailed as a rare instance of a traditional artisan community rehabilitating itself through the very craft they have been alienated from. (ref : www.kumbham.org)
Sri Lakshmi Prassanna Pot-making industry Mallolagadda, Angallur Madanapalli Taluk Chittoor Dt., A.P.
(Rishi valley school)
Vikram Parchauri conducted a training program in 1997 which was attended by some of the potters from Palmaner Potters wheel - Mr.Titus is their main artisan-in-charge and can be requested to conduct a training program.
Activities that will lend support to the Terracotta program 1. Study of the existing livelihood scenarios and resource use patterns in PalamanerThe output of this study would help in making appropriate interventions to strengthen the livelihoods and address the gaps in the value chains.
2. Awareness workshop for potters 3. Exposure visit for selected members of the SHGs to craft villages in Kerala/Goa 4. Interventions in livelihoodsDifferent professional organisations in credit, microfinance, marketing, design, etc. would coordinate their interventions based on the study results
5. Microenterprise management training including tourism-related training/capacity enhancement of the Potters 6. Artisan Credit cards 7. Loans/Bank linkages 8. Publicity kiosk locations to be planned and informative material to be prepared about the artisansDistribution nodes will be Tirupati, Chittoor,Vellore & Bangalore
9. Planning of Health Insurance or Lifetime insurance for all the potters Management of the Terracotta Crafts Centre DRDA is in the process of forming a society/apex body from amongst the artisan community. The land will be transferred to the artisans and the Centre will be managed by this apex body. There are at present, four Self-
help groups (SHGs) formed within the potters community. Each SHG comprises of 12 members, of which 2 members are leaders of the group.
Other Pottery unitsPotters wheel
This is an organisation that was started by the Hartzells in Madanapalle to bring about economic upliftment of a potters community. Joan and her husband were both doctors. Joan is a physiotherapist and her husband was an orthopaedic surgeon. They first came to India in 1973 and worked in Kerala. In the 80s, they were asked for help by the potters. This was a role they had never envisaged for themselves. However, when they received repeated requests, they decided to help the community. That was the beginning of Potters Wheel in Karnataka. They realised later that it was quite expensive to live and work where they were, close to Bangalore. So, they decided to move to Chittoor district and to Madanapalle which was known for its terrracotta work. What Joan finds fascinating is that all the different terracotta workers from Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and of course, Andhra, all speak Telugu. This American couple are from Seattle, Washington and decided to seek a market there for the terracotta products that their community produced. Locally, within the Chittoor region, competition was high. However, the export market demanded a higher quality product. Gradually, the skill of the artisans improved. The chief artisan is Titus who has been with the organisation from the beginning and who has trained the others. There are a total of 13 potters who live here with their wives and children. The factory has a kiln that fires articles at a temperature of 850 degrees celcius. This ensures good quality of the products and breakage is reduced. However, when breakage does occur, the broken terracotta pieces are powdered and this powder is again mixed with the clay. One of the disadvantages at Palamaner are the frequent power cuts.Pottery unit adjacent to KVIC centre
There is a pottery unit right next to the KVIC centre which is managed by a lawyer who is planning to bring together a few potters under his unit and to collectively market their products.
Gantavur village - Statistical information a. Commencement year of Gram Panchayat b. No. of hamlets c. Extent of village/town d. Population (Men, women, SC,ST,BC,OC) e. f. g. h. i. j. k. l. m. n. o. p. q. r. Population density Total No. of house Potters houses No. of roads Drinking water supply units Agriculture land Annual income of Gram Panchayat Main occupation School Hospitals Youth organizations No. of banks Lakes and canals Temples
21.12.1943 14 466.44 Acres/Cents Total Men Women SC ST 44236 21844 22392 4138 756 2501 9274 39 78 16 3178.71 Acres/Cents 2004-2005 Rs.90.85.739/Cultivation 25 1 10 5 Koundinya river -1 6
Part IIArchitectural Design of the CenterSite study Analysis of the location Recommendations from the Potters Architecture of the region Craft centers in India Design Brief Concept design
Petrol pump abutting the site Brindavan Dairy Restaurant across the road from site
The site has a Petrol Pump on one side. There is the Brindavan Dairy on the other side of the site. The site is directly abutting the national highway. The rear of the site faces an empty plot. The owners of the Dairy have raised an objection to the possible construction of the kiln for the proposed Crafts Centre. On the opposite side of the site is a restaurant cum lodge where many tourist and regular buses stop for lunch and dinner. The site is primarily a flat piece of land with a few minor undulations. The frontage is already used up with the KVIC asbestos sheet-covered building and partly by the Petrol pump.
Recommendations from the PottersThe potters suggest that ideally they would like to be given houses which are approximately 30 ft x 30 ft i.e. 900 sq.ft. with a central hall, a kitchen, a bedroom, a puja room, a toilet within the house and a verandah. Of the 40 artisans, 10 artisans have their own houses built in the last 10 to 15 years. The others have a badi illu or a rented house. The rent paid per month varies from Rs.600 to Rs.1000. The 10 artisans who have their own houses are :1. 2. 3. 4. 5. K.Allappa Ramakrishna Seetharamaiah Papaiya ManiRatnam Shetty 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Pedareddy appa Anjinappa Ramaiah Ballappa Nanjappa
Analysis of the locationAt present, there are already 20 outlets in this region which were set up by groups of potters for selling their products. Since this location is already being used as a marketing outlet and since the two kinds of clay needed by the potters are at a distance of 1 km and 4 km from this area. Now, the KVIC centre also exists here. The presence of the restaurant and lodge Highlands Resort brings in bus loads of people to stop by and look at the craft products. Many purchases happen due to these travellers who stop by at Highlands Resort when the bus brings them here for lunch or for dinner. Reliance Petrol Pump is about 20 km from Gantavur on the NH4 and was started in October 2004.
Small shrine opp. the Shiva temple
Entrance gate of the Shiva temple
On the national highway NH4, on the stretch between Chittoor and Palmaner, about 19 km before Gantavur is a centuries old Shiva temple. This temple can be one of the stops for tourists or visitors to the Terracotta center in the event that an exclusive tour is organised from chennai or bangalore or chittoor to the Terracotta centre after it is well-established.
Stone carvings on the temple
Architecture in the region
In this region, granite stone is easily available and therefore, it is proposed that stone be used as much as possible and in a cost-effective way. Rubble masonry may be used upto plinth i.e. 2 ft. above ground beyond which brick wall plastered may be built and painted white. Additionally, stone slabs may be used as space dividers and as boundary wall.
Along the chennai-bangalore highway, the domestic architecture consists of mud wall houses with thatch roof alongside RCC constructions. The use of mangalore tiles for roof is still prevalent. Walls are often in brickwork. In some houses, stone slabs are used as wall and sometimes, stone columns used for supporting the roof. The design of the DRDA Terracotta Crafts center must reflect the indigenous architecture prevalent around it and a harmonious blend of clay tiles,stone and brick may be used to construct the houses, the workspaces and the exhibition areas of the center.
This Bodha roof or grass roof has been used for PrideInn a coffee shop on the national highway on the way to Palmaner from Chittoor. If there is need for a few simple outdoor shelters within the exhibition zone, bamboo and thatch or a grass roof may be provided. For use of this material and to contact the skilled people to execute this kind of roof, the owner of PrideInn, G.Thulasikrishna can be contacted at 08572309773.
Craft centers in IndiaThe West Zone Cultural Centre set up the Shilpagramam a crafts village in Udaipur to showcase the arts and crafts of Rajasthan. In Hyderabad, the Shilparamam was set up to generate an interest amongst the public in the crafts of andhra pradesh. Both these crafts villages were designed using local building materials and traditional motifs. There have also been craft centres & museums set up by institutions such as the Sanskriti foundation in Delhi and the Madras Craft Foundation in Chennai, amongst many others. Both these centres have given importance to the terracotta craft. The Sanskriti Museum of Indian Terracotta, Delhi The Sanskriti Foundation took the initiative in 1990 to set up a museum of Indian terracotta. The Museum lays a lot of emphasis on collecting the living and continuing traditions of Indian terracotta. More than 1500 objects of terracotta are on display in this Museum. The Museum encompasses open and semi-open courtyards, often dotted with trees. The collection of the Museum represents earthen pots of Manipur, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh; ritual figures of Rajasthan, the Ayyanar cult of Tamil Nadu, tribal terracottas from Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh, among others. A special gallery has been in...