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Ceramic art of Ruchira Marshal


Yohan Ruchira Marshal had an aptitude for Art in his schooldays.  He Went to The National Design Centre one day with his father, after leaving school.

Ruchira’s attention was riveted by  the way ceramic items were being  manufactured at the Centre, with the use of moulds.  So from that day on he  thought of ways and means of  manufacturing ceramics himself. He entered the National Designs Centre first and then the Gramodaya Jana Kala Kendraya, getting a basic  training in ceramic art using red clay and the simple ‘sakaporuwa,’ (potter’s wheel.) In this way Ruchira got firsthand knowledge in turning out ceramics. He was also lucky to work for a private institution for about one year.

After some time Ruchira entered the Dediyawela Ceramic Training Centre which comes under the Industries and Small Industries Department of the Western Province, where he did a two-year Higher Training Course. Ruchira was lucky to have a comprehensive training in Ceramic Art under the expert guidance of Hiroouki Asakura, a Japanese  expert in Ceramic who had come to Sri Lanka  as a voluntary service provider It was under  Asakura that Ruchira received  comprehensive training in all aspects of Ceramic Art.

A note says that Yohan Ruchira who is keenly interested in research, experiments in various methods of ,manufacturing ceramic items. He has now received a thorough  grounding in and knowledge of alternative craftware.

Right now he is preparing to hold his first one-man exhibition at the Lionel Wendt Art Gallery from  the 24th,25th and 26th of this month. For his exhibition, Ruchira has tested various methods of Ceramic art. There is hardly any traditional ceramic creation that he has not produced. Ruchira says that a special feature of the exhibition will be creations  turned out in different temperatures.

Ruchira says  : In the manufacture of of these I did my utmost to maintain the artistic value of the items.’ He says that as at an earlier  two-man exhibition he did not pay any attention to consumer products. However, this time he has made items  under both high and low temperatures. He has also tested out new methods of burning the ceramic to achieve the desired finish. Ruchira says that at his latest exhibition, he has items that  not been seen previously on the local market. These items are made according to the most modern methods, he says.

An interesting point Ruchira made was that local ceramic manufacturers who did not go beyond the functional always made the ‘sakaporuwa’ rorate leftward.  Ruchira has broken new ground in making the wheel rotate to the right.

The exhibition presents both largescale  and smallscale manufacturers of ceramicware in the country. Creative industrialists like Ruchira hope to target the market. He says that  funds play the most important part in the manufacture of ceramicware.