Neera-vari - a garden collection handcrafted in terracotta
Neeravari (“irrigation” in Kannada)
Winner of the "Jury's special mention" at the Lexus Design Awards India 2022
An easy-to-use indoor gardening collection to make the watering of plants easier and more efficient with a debut range consisting of two products:
- A planter bowl that nests a watering capsule: Dharak and Shanku
- A hydrating jar for plants in larger planters or plant beds: Bhoomi
It all started when the when the pandemic hit - I took up gardening to spend time fruitfully at home during the lockdown. Gardening is something new to me andI often faced the dilemma of the amount and frequency of watering, I started to read up on the correct way to water plants and discovered the concept of “Clay pot” irrigation - a concept thought to have originated in Africa about 4000 years ago that uses the porous nature of unglazed clay pots that allow osmotic pressure to draw the water into the soil, assuring a constant flow of water directly to the roots without much evaporation.
I'm a strong believer in traditional processes that help us live mindfully and my ceramist mind began to think of the properties that make clay objects a gentle and sustainable part of our culture and rituals - the terracotta “matka” for water storage and earthen cookware to name a few.
Trials and errors!
Porosity, the strength and aesthetic appeal of terracotta have been exploited since millennia in everyday functional objects. I took these properties to re-interpret the idea of clay pot irrigation to create products that would help watering home plants with ease and efficiency.
I began experiments in varieties of terracotta. Wheel thrown products “bisqued” and finally fired at 1000C for strength and adjusted porosity.
The products went through bisque and glaze firing at 1000C, a temperature that ensures strength and lends an earthy red colour to the clay.
And then, the products had to be tested and checked during use. Anu Ganapathy, founder of @its_thyme_to_garden is a self taught expert in organic kitchen gardening and she used the two products and tested them with a variety of plants, soil compositions etc. We made sure that the products were perfectly functional and ready to be launched.
And what you have are happier and healthier plants!