Late Devi Prasad

Devi Prasad belongs to a generation of pioneering potters who have made an invaluable contribution to studio pottery in India. Many contemporary potters owe their skill to his teaching and guidance. He graduated in 1944 from Kala Bhavana, Santiniketan, where he studied under Nandalal Bose, Binode Bihari Mukherjee and Ramkinkar Baij. He worked with Mahatma Gandhi from 1942 to 1947, actively participating in the Quit India movement and Vinoba Bhave’s Gramdaan movement, amongst several others. In 1944, he joined Gandhiji’s Sevagram, where he worked on child art and education, and edited Nayee Taleem till 1962. At Sevagram he discovered a traditional potter working close to his cottage and coincidentally also Bernard Leach’s A Potter’s Book in Gandhiji’s library. In 1950-51, Devi Prasad put together a kiln and a couple of kick-wheels at Santiniketan, and with the help of Leach’s book built a pottery workshop there. With the experience he had thus gained, he organized the first Pottery Conference in Sevagram for the Khadi Commission in 1955.