A timeless living craft tradition, pottery’s functional use began in the form of clay utensils that were used to store food and water. Growing up in rural Rajasthan, Bhuvnesh recalled that he would eat food in clay utensils as those made of steel were not available at the time. Clay cookware, and in turn, pottery, were a dominant part of his daily life. They were also the first objects he made as a potter.
Born into a family of master potters and national awardees, Bhuvnesh began learning the techniques associated with the craft from a young age. From preparing the clay and centring it on the wheel to moulding the shape, trimming the edges and firing the finished product in kilns—Bhuvnesh soon became deft at the process. Although he completed his graduation and opted for a business management course, he kept his love for pottery alive by spending enough time at the wheel. After working with small-scale businesses in Delhi, he finally realised his true passion lay in the craft of his forefathers and decided to return to his roots.
Today, Bhuvnesh works at the pottery retreat in Delhi with his father. Over many years, he has developed his retreat studios in Delhi and Kerala, where he not only practises the craft but also trains students and young professionals, in an attempt to keep the art form alive in the city.
As a strong supporter of locally-sourced materials, Bhuvnesh said he prefers working with clay obtained from nearby villages. He spends hours researching techniques and materials, all the while pushing the boundaries of form and structure. Unusual designs are his forte. “My intention has always been to make something that no one has tried before,” he said. Recently, he made a 15 feet wide clay vase which was displayed in a pottery competition in China. The piece also won him an award for his work.
What keeps him motivated to continue his experimentations with clay is the singular view with which he approaches his craft. Bhuvnesh believes pottery to be his heritage. Even today, while training students or operating the wheel, he attempts to remain cognizant of pottery’s association with the country’s history—working tirelessly to keep a remnant of India’s ancient tradition alive with each new piece.