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Benevolent Earth

Each morning as I step out into my backyard, I find it filled with these pods. Despite the huge tree that grows in my neighbours yard, I just noticed them this summer. 

My curiosity led me to know more about this pod. They are from the ever popular tree 'Subabool'. This grows all over Maharashtra in abundance. I then realised how strongly I am connected with this tree.

Till 2006 I was firing my Ceramic Art works in a fast firing Olson Kiln. I used the Subabool wood to fire my Kilns upto 1280 degrees centigrade and got beautiful reduction and ash effects. I would get 3 to 4 truckloads of this wood, have it chopped into small pieces and stack them into piles to dry before use. Of course I had help but planning this out was a nightmare. Also buying trucks of wood one lands up dealing with timber merchants who can hold one on ransom at any point of time. If I ever tried to change my supplier the whole firewood market would know about it and start quoting higher rates. It was like I was dealing with a organised gang. Gently stoking and feeding the firebox my kilns with this wood, it never struck me to actually know more about this tree.

I simply gathered these pods, walked to my studio and translated them into clay as apart of my ongoing work - “The Benevolent Earth”.

Ruby JhunjhunwalaComment