English | Dzongkha Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Flourishing business of Trongsa’s lone potter


Jul 1, 2021

As an art, it may be dying. But as a business, it is thriving. At least, this is what Trongsa’s lone potter, Ugyen Dema, claims after being in the line of work for some six years now. The 30-year-old from Langthil says although illiterate, pottery earned her a decent living.

Ugyen boasts of her ability to make various clay products such as cups and incense burners among others. The journey to her becoming began as a passion that later met an opportunity through the Tarayana Foundation’s training programme.

“12 of us were trained for a month in making clay products using a machine. After that, I attended many more workshops on pottery. At first, I used to make pots by hands, and it was out of interest.”

Ugyen hasn’t looked back since then. She already earned around 100 thousand ngultrum this year, twice the amount she has been making. Depending on the size and type, the price of products ranges from Nu 100 to Nu 800.

“If I was in the village, I might have had financial problems. But because of pottery, I can earn enough to sustain myself and my parents,” says Ugyen.

This year, amid the pandemic, the Tarayana Foundation has been her main customer. The non-profit organization bought almost all her stock for which she remains grateful.

“Usually, we would sell all our products at the Tarayana and other trade fairs. But this time, due to the pandemic, such fairs are not organized.”

Ugyen wants to recruit extra helping hands and diversify her products. She ordered two more potter’s wheels through a loan from the Tarayana Foundation. Ugyen is glad that in moulding clay into products, she shaped her life in the right direction.

Passang, Trongsa

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