HeritageINDIA Student Nirali Patel reflects on making traditional arts and crafts

HeritageINDIA Student Nirali Patel reflects on making traditional arts and crafts

July 29, 2019 | Author: Nirali Patel, HeritageINDIA 2019 Cohort

Pottery Perfection

Pottery is something I can never do right. Usually the clay ends up turning into mud, my pot looks like dog feces, and I feel gross. Pottery has never really been my friend. At least until I got some help.

We went to the Crafts Museum in Delhi and while we were waiting for our paper quilling session to start, we walked around and watched people mastering their artworks. It was pretty cool, but we clearly distracted them. Luckily though, Gabrielle came quick and saved us from potential boredom.

“We’re making pots!” She said. Everyone’s face lit up and they started cheering. What a unique way to pass time! We eagerly ran to the pottery booth and a man gave us a short introduction on making pots. Then, people started to line up. The pots looked as good as the ones he was selling!

Nirali observes a traditional craftsman at work

If you have a good teacher you can always exceed expectatations. I found this to be the case when I was making my pot. The clay felt cool and slimy against my hands. With help, the pot had a perfect circular rim, and a wide body that narrowed upwards. Then we folded the top of the pot to make it look traditional.

In the end, I had made a beautiful terrecota colored pot with a smooth texture and I was glad that I had made something so quickly and the finishing product looked amazing!



Nirali is one of 8 students in Indiaspora’s inaugural HeritageINDIA Program. A unique, immersive, 3-week summer program, this initiative gives high school students of Indian descent the opportunity to connect to their ancestral homeland. Students experience and engage with India’s rich and diverse cultural history by completing hands-on projects, participating in stimulating discussions, and building friendships with a cohort that will share in this once-in-a-lifetime experience. With the exciting theme of India’s Riches: History, Culture, Diversity, & Democracy, students visit three areas of India that are geographically and culturally diverse, yet all very much represent India: New