The Stomping of the feet could be heard before the faces that they belonged to were seen. We had been waiting for this sound, wondering whether we would be able to occupy their innovative and curious minds.
On 21st November 2017, a group of 40 students from the Upper Kindergarten class of Jayshree Periwal International School in Jaipur visited the Neerja Blue Pottery office at Gopalpura and production unit in Tejaji Nagar. They were accompanied by their talented teachers and didis. They were here to discover and absorb as their school curriculum includes learning through hands-on experience.
The process of the changing of form in blue pottery was a fascinating introduction to the art form for the children. Their eyes filled with wonder looked at everything in the unit inquisitively. Asking a question with a careless abandon that only children possess. One such enquiry was, “What happens if you run out of the materials?” This came up, right after they had learned how to make jewellery with blue pottery.
We decided that instead of telling them how it is done, we’ll show them. We staged a role play with 5 of the students assuming the roles of suppliers of different parts, another one acting as the client and one of us from Neerja taking the client’s order. This little exercise demonstrated the execution of an order and the restocking of goods. The joy of understanding translated into a brilliant smile on the face of the child who had asked the question.
A magical property of blue pottery lies in its power to change color after it is fired. This fact goes unnoticed by many adults. But a room full of 5-year-olds can always be counted upon to notice the finest details of their environments. Undoubtedly, one of the students pointed out, boldly, that the color of the bowl had changed from purple to blue after it had been fired.
These wonderful children were sincerely attentive and possessed greater understanding than we could ever fathom. Their compassion could make them the mascots to our motto, “Save the crafts around the world.” Our future shines brightly in their hands. The echoes of their feet stomping in and out each space will ring in our hearts forever.