One of the most significant inventions, outside the wheel, during the early stages of human civilization, as inhabitants grew hundreds of centuries ago, was pottery. Through the creation of containers and other crucial materials, this innovation assisted humanity in entering the new age. Pottery changed into inventive forms that were later included in the arts when it struck the imaginative minds of bygone cultures. Among the ceramicists practising this age-old technique in Goa's most prestigious and creative neighbourhood is Thomas Louis.
Thomas Louis, who was born in Kerala, has always placed a high value on creative expression. He was further motivated and had his artistry shaped by extracurricular clay activities at school. While other children grew up to leave their creative sides in the past, he pursued his passion for pottery design well into his adulthood and graduated from the National Institute of Design in Ahmedabad. As an emerging ceramicist, like many of his classmates, Thomas was tempted to give up on his dream due to the struggling art scene in India and the expenses that came with it. Nevertheless, the beauty of his own technique derived from his ancestors kept him bound to his dream. He couldn't afford to disregard the abundance of ideas and inspiration that the natural world offered.
Thomas Louis, who was born in Kerala, has always placed a high value on creative expression. He was further motivated and had his artistry shaped by extracurricular clay activities at school. On the contrary, moving to Goa gave him the ideal setting to pursue his profession and master his skill in peaceful surroundings. Thomas built his studio where he proudly exhibits his paintings, surrounded by rich greenery and an artistic aura emanating from the locality.
The aspiring ceramicist, who was fascinated by the natural environment, continued to explore a plethora of subjects and forms, but one, in particular, captured his attention and has kept him devoted to it ever since. A visit to the ceramicist’s studio shows us his love for the marine world. From botanical to zoological figurines, the area is a temple of thalassic beauty. Every single space in his studio is adorned with distinct artefacts illustrating fish, starfish and variegated marine plant species moulded in dreamy forms and painted in vibrant colours.
The ceramicist doesn’t create works with deeper meanings as artists are generally expected to, he aims to communicate his love for creativity by moulding life forms in a state of eternity. Albeit, his career is not dominated by the theme as he explored many other design techniques which led him to the music industry. The scope for techniques was immense and brimming with possibilities. Thomas then began creating musical instruments such as the flute and participated in music bands where the use of his creations strung the strings of his creative soul. Apart from these instruments, he also fashioned the creation of a mobile phone speaker that amplified sounds by 30 decibels. One could slide their phone inside and have a slightly louder sound playing in the background for a whole day.
“The playground is huge, you could adapt one technique among others and just get lost in it forever” - Thomas Louis
From music to marine, Thomas also began collaborating with hospitality industries to create crockery sets and different types of containers for general use. Throughout his ceramics career, he explored every avenue of design. The marine world however continues to be a dominant part of his career while the other themes follow.
As a ceramicist who experienced difficulties when he first started his career, Thomas extends his support to up-and-coming artists and aims to continue to do so in the future. Since his studio consists of a bigger wall space and area, he displays works of emerging and mid-career artists such as sketch works, pen works and paintings. He also welcomed students with a shared passion for pottery and guides them throughout the entire learning process. The works of his students have contributed to the diversity of themes in his studio and the concept of experimentation that is evident in his premises.
As he looks forward to the future, Goa seems to be a place where he would like to continue his career like many other artists who have found a home in the Indian state. He aims to inspire, motivate and support artists and ceramicists in Goa who has become a part of his growing community finding comfort in the world of pottery nestled in the suburbs of his creative space.