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Friday, September 27, 2013

Leading Dragons

By Udita Chaturvedi
Photography: Udita Chaturvedi

Ceramist Ange Sabine Peter
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Ceramist Ange Sabine Peter moulds clay with the head of a philosopher, hands of a skilled craftsman and a combination of native and Japanese ingenuity in technique as her handy tool…

Born in Germany, but bred in Pondicherry, India, Ange has grown up against the rich backdrop of colourful Indian tales and is fluent in English, Hindi and Telugu among other languages. Being a puducherian, the Golden Bridge Pottery was a natural attraction, and soon had Ange training under the expertise of Deborah Smith and Ray Meeker.

Ceramist Ange Sabine Peter at Habitat Centre, Delhi,Sept.22, 2013
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“Her technique is unmatchable,” says friend and ceramist Betina Mistry and one couldn’t agree more. At her most recently concluded (Sept.22, 2013) first major solo exhibition at the Habitat Centre, Delhi, Ange has brought porcelain to life in a diligent mix of modern art with traditional craft work.

Ceramist Ange Sabine Peter at Habitat Centre, Delhi,Sept.22, 2013
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Largely inspired by dragons, her exhibition ‘Offerings’ focused on dragons and the depiction of the Haiyu slipware technique. Being the first ceramist to bring the indigenous technique, Haiyu Slipware, outside Japan, her intricate patterns on porcelain exude vibrancy through subtle shades, some unique, of red, gold, blue and green.

Ceramist Ange Sabine Peter at Habitat Centre, Delhi,Sept.22, 2013
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“The teapot symbolizes the conservative form of craft, whereas dragons represent the force of evolution that pushes beyond limitations,” explains Ange of her creations. Throwing more light on Haiyu Slipware, she explains how in this technique, a wet slab of clay is covered with an iron slip ‘Tatara’ and a design is trailed with a white or coloured slip. Once the slip decoration dries a little, the slab is laid over a plaster mould and coated with ash glaze.   

Ceramist Ange Sabine Peter at Habitat Centre, Delhi,Sept.22, 2013
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Ceramist Ange Sabine Peter at Habitat Centre, Delhi,Sept.22, 2013
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Incidentally, Ange also makes “clay and glazes from scratch”. Even the ash used is “collected from around my pottery studio in Auroville, Pondicherry,” she informs.

Ceramist Ange Sabine Peter at Habitat Centre, Delhi,Sept.22, 2013
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With a firm belief that India has a lot of potential to encourage and patronize ceramic art, Ange, who spends 12-13 of her waking hours each day at her craft, in the near future, foresees an impressive transition, among youth, between ceramics and art in the country.


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