We had the good fortune of connecting with Ruchi Gupta and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Ruchi, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I was born and raised in India and from a young age I knew where my strength, passion and inclination led. Sadly, in those days small cities did not offer many choices for children with artistic or creative bend. The school curriculum also did not offer much, Math was another subject which I really enjoyed and I was good at, So, I selected science-math track in high school and did Engineering and MBA and worked in Technology for a decade. Although I was good at my job and I was accelerating successfully in my career, my heart and soul were never in it.

Then something tragic happened on a personal front, the first solution was to drown myself in work, but that did not seem enough, weekends were still empty. I started going to a studio potter then, those few hours in the creative space were life changers, it was after a very long time I felt alive. Once I tasted this blissfulness it was difficult to let it go. Meanwhile we moved to the US (Dallas,TX) for some work assignment. I found out that even adults can take classes, they can learn whatever they want, and there are multitude of learning opportunities and options. I had some exposure to clay in India, coming to this country I tried other mediums and I soon realized clay is what I like the best.

After my son was born and I had some time on hand, I started going to a community college to take pottery lessons. This was a 180 degree flip from my corporate competitive environment. The high you get in being in a creative space with artistic people was addictive. I just could not force myself to go back to my old world, I could not help but move forward.

Initially the guise was my son, in the cover of taking care of him I was also taking care of my passion. But then came a time when I decided to take a plunge and let go of my high paying, established career and made artistic pursuit my career.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My making process is the most exciting part of my work, because it incorporates all the things I am passionate about. I draw on paper, screen print on clay, hand paint, add words (which adds emotion to work). My ceramic forms are organic and functional, to be placed in full view (rather than stacked in a cupboard). The combination of all of it makes each piece unique, one of a kind and fresh. Another factor I love about my process is reusability of form and design and because of it prices are controlled.

Challenge is photographing for retail, as each piece has to be photographed

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Dallas was a challenge in this aspect, so I will talk about Richmond, Va, my current home. It depends on what season the friend chooses to come. From Summer to Fall to Spring, each season has its own charm. I would start the day with a long walk at Deep run park and then breakfast at Shore Dog cafe. At noon we would head to Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, check the current exhibition and eat at Amuse, museum restaurant or cafe. Alternate plan can be to go to Charlottesville, VA to one of the wineries and Vineyards like Pippin Hills, or Veritas or Barboursville, these offer excellent wine with food. Depending on the season we can also go for some fruit pickings at a farm from Berries, peaches or apples. My vegetarian friends may love Goatacado, which offers organic, delicious, sumptuous and nourishing food. God! there is so much more the city has to offer, my friend would definitely need to stay with me for a week to get a flair of everything.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Yes, plenty. Lisa Ehrich, who introduced me to Brookhaven College in Dallas, Tx. Shout out to Brookhaven College , which was a magical space for me, I owe a lot to the ceramic department, all the teachers and the continued ed students. Riki Greenspan (I met her at Brookhaven) who taught me how to make ceramic molds and slip cast. My husband – Sumeet Gupta who became a single earning member of the family.

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Image Credits
Lily Nash and Selena Tosh

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