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The Studio Potter

Author: Niilofur Farrukh      Publications: The Review– Dawn (p.25)      Dated: 22 Mar 2000

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The versatility of studio pottery in Pakistan is often sidelined by the influence of western ceramic traditions he contemporary practice of studio pottery has made us pause and take notice of the humble pot. lt hue opened our mind to new expressive discoveries in this age-old form. Participate in the mysterious process that transforms the functional vessel into a significant presence. At the recent pottery show hosted by the VM Gallery, one was able to experience the impressive skills of a new entrant in the field, Salman Ikram from Lahore. His confident throwing and glazing expertise is evident in almost every piece on display. Using both glossy and matt glazes, he has employed diverse techniques for surface decorating image of lazy, sun drenched horizons and calm, sensitive sunsets. Musically, the experimentation with the saxophone and the diatonic was astounding and one could at times feel an essence of the Anatolian countryside emerge and unfold through vibrant and technically perfect playing by Guerbigny. Guerbigny is the writer of all the songs and music and clearly a master of his art. Where else can one hear the sounds of an accordion to such effect? This instrument was always association on his wheel thrown and slip cast pots. They vary from deeply incised patterns, the gentle ripple of dappled tones of monochrome glaze, harsh sculpted angles that lent an asymmetrical character. Perhaps the most elaborate were the tall vases with calligrams with a blind man and his monkey playing at some funfair the world over. ln this instance, the musicians masterfully complimented one another vocally and with Pugets skilful playing of the clarinet, the accordion leapt at us with a life of its own. The soundtrack of Betty Blue suddenly sprung to mind and without a doubt, l is sure that these gentlemen will one day soon be scoring some film somewhere. As musicians, they were near to perfect and l am sure that they cut their teeth in the jazz clubs of France and are worthy to play with the best of the cream of contemporary jazz. I take my hat off to them.