Leela Chakravarti


 Hello Friends! I am a Marine Biologist turned Potter and here is a little of my journey...
I grew up in a countryside village in the south east of England, filled with quaint cottages, rolling fields and endless adventure. Many childhood summers were spent in Cornwall and Devon, where I would watch the comings and goings of curious creatures in rock pools and scour the beaches for shells and driftwood.
 
I moved to tropical north Australia in 2015 to study for a PhD, researching ways to preserve coral reefs against the devastating effects of climate change. Little did I know that this would also be the beginning of my clay journey.
 
I joined an evening pottery class in 2016 and with the guidance and encouragement of my teacher, who became a dear friend, I delved into the magical world of clay. I loved the varying nature of everything that could be learnt, from glaze chemistry to hand-pulled mug handles, from firing atmospheres to teapot spouts. Failure and successes in my science-life  prepared me for this unpredictable, ever-changing pottery journey. After my PhD, I made the big move and jumped out of the world of marine biology and dived into the world of full-time pottery. I started teaching my own students in evening classes, selling at markets and galleries and entering exhibitions. A year or two later, in 2020, I moved myself and my business to the UK. What a whirlwind few years it has been! I'm not only learning new pottery processes, but business skills, photography, marketing, teaching and more.
After having lived in various countries and finding myself back in my childhood home of England, I have jumbled inspiration from two sides of the world that has given me never-ending ideas. My work draws inspiration from nature, especially underwater-life and coastal creatures (no surprises there!). I want my pottery to tell stories with meaning. I want to encourage people to take notice of the natural world that is changing so fast. I want people to appreciate how lucky we are to live among it.
Thank you for your precious time to read a little about my story, it's wonderful to have you.