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International Partners: Meaghan Gates and Claire Troelstrup, University of Massachusetts – Dartmouth, U.S.
Village: Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh
Project Duration: 1 month
Identified Challenge & Aim:
Due to climatic variations and ambivalent weather patterns, many villagers are unable to solely depend on agriculture as a source of income. Without sufficient income, many rural families face sustained poverty and spiraling debt. Therefore, there is a need to not only identify alternative and viable sources of income but provide opportunities for skill development and training in the marketing of generated products.
The project started off simple interactions with the potter community in the village, where students engaged in a mutual learning and sharing session of ceramic and pottery techniques. This was followed by a two-week workshop. The first half of the workshop built upon the techniques that the women were already familiar with in order to create more complex forms with a focus on product development and quality of craftsmanship. The women developed items that could be sold in the local marketplace and, eventually, internationally. As they continued to hone their skills, they were able to pick up on the subtle qualities that make quality ceramic products
The second half of the workshop consisted of kiln building, firing the work, and problem solving in marketing. The kiln is the oven used to bake the clay. This was based off of a design created by the team based on their first visit. The size, simplicity of design, and firing time for the proposed kiln seemed quite suitable for the village women. The size would allow them to fire many items they were making within a time frame that would not keep them away from their homes for too long. The design of the kiln was also simple enough to be built in just three days. The team also interacted with the potter community in the village and engaged in a mutual learning and sharing session of ceramic and pottery techniques.
Addresses Sustainable Development Goals: