My name is Shikha Joshi and I am a studio potter from Round Rock TX with a deep appreciation for all things handmade. Not having had a formal education in ceramics, I spend long hours in the studio, playing, experimenting, pushing boundaries and learning what the ceramic materials would teach me.
If I am not in my studio, chances are I am in the kitchen, trying out a new recipe for some chocolate dessert or perfecting an old favorite…
I believe that good food served in good handmade pots make everyday meals a quiet celebration. Being a potter, foodie and a collector of handmade pots I feel deeply gratified to be able to bring this celebration to our family dinners.
I was born and raised in New Delhi, India where I spent the first 22 years of my life. In 1996 I graduated from Delhi University with a Bachelors in Psychology. Growing up, I don’t recall being deeply interested in art, apart from the fact that I was a
compulsive doodler, covering every square inch of any given space with random doodles, much to my mother’s exasperation. Of all the grand plans I had regarding my future, being an artist was never on my list.
My first encounter with clay makes for a rather funny anecdote. It happened on the streets of New Delhi, when, fascinated by a potter throwing on his wheel, I decided to give it a shot. I went to this roadside potter and told him I wanted to try my hands at clay. Amused by my desire, for it is not everyday people walk up to him, requesting to learn his craft, the potter delegated his nine-year-old son to indulge me. We sat by the busy street and the little boy centered a lump of clay on the wheel for me to play with. Needless to say, I couldn’t make anything that day but the joy of wet clay slipping through my fingers was so enthralling, it took me into a different realm. I was oblivious to the crowd that gathered around us to watch a well-dressed young girl, sitting by the roadside, getting hopelessly muddy under the direction of a little boy. I knew that day, I had found my calling. The seed that was sown in India on that warm spring day, achieved maturity, when I moved to the US, to join my husband in Atlanta, Georgia. There, I got the opportunity to learn pottery at the Callanwolde Fine arts center. Under the direction of Glenn Dair, I became completely immersed in the joy of making pots and spent the next five years learning the subtleties of throwing on the wheel.
In 2003 my husband’s job change brought us to Round Rock TX, where I established my home studio, my own little sanctuary, where I have been playing ever since.
I am a studio potter currently working out of my home studio in Round Rock, Texas. Though I call America my home now, I am originally from India; a country richly steeped in the tradition of arts and craft, which has strongly informed my aesthetics. My work, thus exhibits a blend of influences from both these cultures.
My creative process results from an interplay between form and function.
I like to explore form, to create pots with unique shapes and personalities, with the underlying guiding factor being, achievement of good functionality. I accentuate the contours of my wheel-thrown and altered pots through carving, making intricate, abstract patterns. The designs are not planned, but result from a spontaneous flow of the hand, guided by influences unconsciously absorbed over the years. It is my hope that theses carvings invite tactile exploration, acting as a labyrinth to trace the stresses of the day away. The rich earthy hues strongly appeal to the artist in me, which in turn dictate the choice of my clay and glazes. As a cone 6 oxidation potter who loves the look of atmospheric firing, I am constantly experimenting with glazes, striving to simulate the colors and textures of the atmospheric look.
Bernard Leach said, “Look to combine beauty with function in a pot”. It is this fine balance between aesthetics and function, which guides me on my evolutionary journey as a potter.