1. What brought you to Auroville and Pondicherry?
Some of my closest friends had visited Auroville a few years ago. They told me stories of the township and how it had architects from all over the world create their version of a sustainable home and how the community still practiced the barter system. It intrigued me.
I had a chance to visit Auroville in February with my best friend and her husband. It was a 6.5 hour drive from Bangalore. The road to Pondicherry was embedded with forts of kingdoms - Chola dynasty + Vijayanagara Empire - that I had only studied about in our history books. It brought us fond memories of our school days.
We based ourselves in a small, 19th century French mansion turned guest house in Pondicherry, and took a day trip to Auroville. I stumbled upon the brass pieces in a small gift shop in Auroville. The brass pieces were unique and I immediately fell in love with them.
2. Can you tell us a bit about these new brass goods?
The makers are based in Pondicherry, which is about 40 minutes away from Auroville. Each piece is hand made and hand hammered, so each piece has a unique, rough and unpolished look. The items are more modern in design, but are made with the intention to keep local traditional skills and techniques alive.
3. Please tell us a bit about Pondicherry — where the pieces are made — is this area dedicated to brass?
Pondicherry was a French colonial trading town in South India. The buildings in the Old Town are colourful and have been built in the colonial style. The street names are in French, and residents still speak French. I love people watching by the Promenade beach. It’s one of my favourite towns in India.
Brass has been used in Indian homes as plates, flatware, Diya stands and idols of Gods ever since I can remember. It has been said to have health benefits in Ayurveda. For example, using brass vessels for drinking water increases immunity. Brass is made in various pockets in India - Moradabad, Telengana to name a few.
4. What are your favorite ways to use these brass objects?
I love the oval medium trays to serve dry fruits when friends come over for chai, and the large round piece as a beautiful fruit bowl.
Shop the new hammered brass goods here.