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Stories, Patterns and Durga Faces

I went back to the brick kiln in the month of November, spending 3-4 hours with children for 10 days. Some of the kids I worked with before were not there now, instead some new kids joined in and I gave them new sketchbooks, so everyone had one sketchbook each to draw in.

We began with storytelling - I asked everyone - 'tell me how are bricks made ?' All the kids drew and wrote - made illustrated stories in their sketchbooks to show the process of how bricks are made.

The kids come from families who specialise in different parts of the brick production process, some make moulds, some work inside the kiln, so they know different things. So they come in with different knowledge, some know how to make the mud, some know for how long to bake it while others know how to work the moulds.

comic about how bricks are produced in the kiln

comic - preparing the mud, moolding the bricks and finally baking it


From their stories I saw that all the kids were drawing the bricks in lines, so the idea of working with 'line' came up - each child brought a brick and painted beautiful lines on it, using masking tape to create patterns.The idea was that usually they only see a line of bricks all around them, but what more can you do with 'line', how can you play with this and make what you want? What is pattern? So lots of engaged conversations came out of this, looking at each other's painted bricks. We clicked a photo with all of them and their colourful bricks at the end.

Then next came looking at the word 'Durga' which is written on the brick. How can we draw this Goddess on the brick? We took mud, I showed them once how to make a face and they also learnt how to use clay tools for the first time. They learnt really fast and began to make their faces - suddenly there was a new feeling for their bricks - it became a material with lots of possibilities! Suddenly they began to carve, cut, draw, make shapes and faces with different expressions of their own imagination.

Now they keep making things out of clay - a material that was always just lying around them...