National Sculptors and Potters Camp, 2004
January 2004 was the first time JDCA brought artists and craftspeople to work on its land. Twenty invited Indian sculptors and potters, ten of each, participated. As per JDCA's mandate and vision, the camps combined traditional and contemporary artists.
Held on the virgin land of the proposed Centre, it was a gathering of professionals and students. The vacant land became a full-fledged studio. They worked under temporary structures of bamboo and coconut leaf thatch; travel and local hospitality was provided. The works done during the camp were donated to the JDCA collection.
Daroz and Angad, two master potters of India, erected a stoneware ceramic kiln. This was fired by wood and coal and glazed pottery was made at 1300? C., for ten days. Terracotta pottery was fired in an open pit kiln. Nirmala Patwardhan made a raku kiln for her work. There were electric, hand and kick wheels.
For the potters, a variety of clays had been sourced from all over the country; for the sculptors, blocks of local sandstone, granite and laterite were brought from quarries located in far reaching parts of Orissa. Traditional masons used chisels and hammer; contemporary sculptors, drills and grinders. Local art and architecture students were invited to come during the day to observe and assist.
At midday, lunch was served on sal and banana leaf; the terracotta glasses made during the camp were used for drinking water. In the evening, local people were welcomed to see work in progress. By sunset, in the open air amphitheatre, the invited sculptors and potters were introduced and they talked about their work over a drink and dinner.
Today ten carved stone columns, about 8 ft tall, are installed, totem-like, around the amphitheatre, as much a part of the landscape as if they are a part of the natural contours of the land.