July 28, 2013

Disposable chai cups


Made all over India, single-use low-fired red clay cups are used by chai sellers in the street, then disposed, dissolved, returned.

I’m looking into how to do something similar in Oregon.

Not sure I can master off-the-hump throwing on the wheel at all, let alone one that’s manually operated by firing up a stick.

Here’s an example of technique from a master in Varanasi:


Are the clay sources each local to the potter’s city?
Does toxicity come into play (I’m thinking of the Ganges around Varanasi for instance)?
How much are plastic cups replacing clay?
How connected to class or nostalgia are these cups?