THE POTTERY MAN

Every Deepavali V.N. Ramadas Chettiar light up hundreds of Hindu homes, he and his family have made more than 25,000 traditional clay lamps and pot for the festival of lights and other festival. Ramadas pottery business is a hut along the Kuala Selangor-Klang road, but, despite the simplicity of his cottage industry, his fine claypots are well-known in Selangor. “My father started the business by making clay pots for cooking purposes in the 1930s and passed on his skills to me. I have been making pots since was 16 and and have taught the skill to my wife and five children” said Ramadas proudly. He said there were about 50 pot makers in Kuala Selangor in the early days because the best clay was found in this coastal town. Now, Ramadas said, there were only four pot makers left because the “younger generation did not want to soil their hands.” “I’m keeping the traditional business alive because there is still demand for pots and lamps made from clay. I have about 40 types of clay pot designs and make about 100 pieces daily,” said Ramadas. Ramadas said the clay pots made in Kuala Selangor were sought after because of the soft and smooth clay. The yellowish-grey mud was found about 10km from the shoreline. “I taste the clay before digging it to ensure it is not too salty,” said Ramadas. Since he took over the business from his father, M. Vengadasalam, 75, he has improved the method of preparing the pots to keep up with modern times. Ramadas said he had installed ectricity-powered spins, mixer and two permanent kilns to bake the clay pots. “In the past, the preparations were done manually and this took up a lot of time and production was slow,” he said, adding that he still maintained the old equipment for tourists. He said that although earthen pots were viewed as old-fashioned in modern kitchens, most elders still used them because food cooked faster in them and tasted better. Ramadas said he took courses on pot making from the Malaysian Institute of Art in Kuala Lumpur and had exchanged ideas with pot makers from Scotland and Britain when they visited him.

A worker is seen work with clay known as ‘ballclay’ is relatively rare form of clay that is sourced from Bestari Jaya to produce high quality pottery at his factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass use clay known as ‘ballclay’ is relatively rare form of clay that is sourced from Bestari Jaya to produce high quality pottery at his factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass use clay known as ‘ballclay’ is relatively rare form of clay that is sourced from Bestari Jaya to produce high quality pottery at his factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass use clay known as ‘ballclay’ is relatively rare form of clay that is sourced from Bestari Jaya to produce high quality pottery at his factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass use clay known as ‘ballclay’ is relatively rare form of clay that is sourced from Bestari Jaya to produce high quality pottery at his factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass use clay known as ‘ballclay’ is relatively rare form of clay that is sourced from Bestari Jaya to produce high quality pottery at his factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass use clay known as ‘ballclay’ is relatively rare form of clay that is sourced from Bestari Jaya to produce high quality pottery at his factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass use clay known as ‘ballclay’ is relatively rare form of clay that is sourced from Bestari Jaya to produce high quality pottery at his factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

A worker using wheelbarrows to bring pottery outside to dry under sunlight at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass stacking pottery outside to dry under sunlight at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass stacking pottery outside to dry under sunlight at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

A worker using wheelbarrows to bring pottery outside to dry under sunlight at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

A worker make an inspection of the damage before the pottery is burned in a large traditional charcoal oven at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass put the wood inside large traditional charcoal oven at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass make an inspection after the pottery is burned in a large traditional charcoal oven at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass show from the clay (on left) transform to pottery (on right) at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass hold the pottery at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

V.N. Ramadass do final checks on the finished pottery and put in the box before being sent to the seller at pottery factory outskirt of Kuala Lumpur. V.N. Ramadass inherited the art and technique of making pottery since the age of 12 from his father who was an immigrant from India. He took over the company to make pottery from his father after finishing school in 1965 to pursue his father efforts are very interested in the art of pottery, VN Ramadas is the second generation to continue the tradition of pottery business his family operated for almost 70 years ago. photo Adib Rawi Yahya

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