Heritage Hands
Heritage Hands
PHOTOS BY: Alvin Toh
Heritage Hands 01. May 2017, Photos by Alvin Toh

Now 65, V.N Ramadas A/L Vengadasalam, has devoted 45 years to Indian pottery. And it shows. Spinning at the electric wheel he built, he scoops up a mini pot in seconds. Spinning a 30kg wheel manually, he creates the perfect replica while maintaining lively conversation,

“My father was a potter. He made this wheel.”

“Basics are easy,” says Ramadas, “but it takes seven years to master the art.” After acquiring traditional techniques from his father, he went on to learn modern methods from the Malayan Institute of Art. Since then, many have come to study with Ramadas. Personal lessons cost only RM80 an hour, or RM400 for a group of five.

In 2012, Ramadas was officially honoured Kuala Selangor’s Adiguru Kraf Tembikar (Pottery Crafts Master) for cultural excellence, innovation, preservation and education. On his wall hangs a giant cheque of RM10,000 from Hari Kraf Kebangsaan 2011 (National Craft Day), in recognition of his stature.

Third generation master moulder Velavar s/o Ramadas, 35, enjoys the creative freedom pottery affords.
Kuala Selangor is rich in ball clay, prized for its plasticity
A master’s touch imbue a clay lump with beauty and purpose in seconds.

Rustic and welcoming, three main sections complete his workshop. The front for throwing and teaching, an adjacent area for kiln and firewood, the back for casting and drying. Made with ball clay for quality, charming earthenware fill the space; cooking pots, statues, lamps, fountains, ready for delivery to shops, restaurants, weddings and temples. The family business is now run by Ramadas’ son, Velavar, 35. Just as passionate, Velavar says, “This is my first job and will be my last.”

If you wish to visit, please contact

Batu 2, Jalan Kelang
45000 Kuala Selangor
Selangor, Malaysia
Tel: +6012 358 6304
Visits by appointment only