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A potter and his family – The story of the earthen tableware in the Uravu Bamboo Grove

by | Dec 24, 2018 | Blog

Where innovative design meets sustainability: This is our motto at Uravu Eco Links. It is also the reason we put so much effort into the small details, such as the plates on which our guests are served their meals.

Providing delicious local meals that also benefit the community

Since the opening of the Uravu Bamboo Grove Resort, the meals have been cooked by women and men from families living in the village. You can taste variations of the traditional Keralan cuisine, and our talented cooks are happy to tailor the menus according to our guests’ preferences (i.e. vegetarian or Ayurvedic diet). We provide breakfast, as well as lunch and dinner upon request.

This system offers an additional income to the families involved in the food preparation and consequently, more inhabitants of the village benefit from tourism.

Our dishware from design to crafting

But we wanted to offer a more authentic and exclusive dining experience to our guests combined with support for a local family. In addition to sustainability and community involvement, we put a strong emphasis on elegant and innovative design in the Uravu Bamboo Grove. The resort’s cottages are the result of cooperation between international and local teams of architects and engineers. Our furniture is locally made in the handicraft workshop of the NGO Uravu. It was jointly designed by the Uravu Bamboo Grove’s architect Juerg Grunder, from INCH architects + planners, and Uravu’s artists and artisans, Lenin and Rakesh.

This led to the idea of creating sustainable locally-made dishware, with an elegant design, to serve meals to our guests. The design was made by Gaya Ganesh, a recent graduate of the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Chennai. She looked for a potter in the region and developed the design patterns for the different plates and pots. Her aim was to respect the intrinsic spirit of the Uravu Bamboo Grove while producing an innovative locally-made product with natural materials.

Drawings of Gaya, a graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Chennai

A potter and his family, affected by the floods

In order to realise the design, we needed someone to craft the different plates and pots that Gaya had designed. Before starting on the designs, Gaya had looked for a local, traditional potter. She discussed the designs with him and he made some prototypes, which were further elaborated.

We had the chance to meet Mr Narayanan and his family, who live near the Uravu Bamboo Grove. They make their living from pottery. The family skills of pottery-making are passed down from generation to generation. This family had been severely hit by the floods during the last monsoon and were struggling to find the necessary funds to repair their house, which had been inundated. Their story touched us and they have the skill set needed to produce our pots and plates. During our visit to their home we were able to watch the making of one of our pots. You can see the beautiful craftsmanship of the potter in the video.

You can gain a deeper insight into our community by visiting us

At Uravu Eco Links, sustainable products with an innovative design are important to us, even the smallest details. We lay emphasis on the fact that the plates on which we serve our local meals to our guests respect this spirit.

By the way, we are planning to offer our guests the chance to visit the potter, as well as to watch a demonstration of his skills. Would you be interested in such an experience? And what about supporting his work by buying one of his products? Let us know by contacting us by mail or via our social media channels.


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