Kalapremi Ceramic Studio is also a training ground for the new generation of ceramics. "We aren’t registered as a training center yet. But I want to teach young enthusiasts what I know and what I learned. Currently, there are around 12 students. Some of them are learning about colours while some are learning pottery", he says.
Gopal Kalapremi Shrestha was also the founder of Gokem Art Ceramic Studio for Research & Development of Ceramic and Nepali Terracotta Technique (1985) and also a team leader and founder of The Ceramic Art Revolution in Nepal (2000).
Rishita Khatri, studying in Srijana College of Fine Art, is a student of Gopal Kalapremi Shrestha. She has been learning at the studio for six years. “I have been learning different skills here like pottery, sculpture, firing pots, etc", she says.
Reminiscing about her early days, she said, “My house is right opposite to this studio. When I was just a kid, I always used to see lots of people of different age groups coming to learn pottery and sculpture-making in the studio." During that time, Shrestha was a teacher at Bhanubhakta Memorial School. He used to teach younger people in his studio after work. "Firing pots always kept me interested and I always wondered about how it works,'' she added.
Khatri said, “During my school days, there used to be school projects and I used to ask for mud with Gopal sir. I used to make clay pots in my home with my own techniques”. After SLC Khatri joined the studio and started to learn from Shrestha. She says she felt lost as it was all very new for her. "Later as days passed, sir taught me everything why and how it’s done. Sir also used to conduct workshops in different schools where he used to take me with him", she adds.
Realizing that things which are learned shouldn’t be wasted, Khatri joined Bachelors in Srijana College of Fine Arts. She is currently continuing her studies and also working for Kalapremi Ceramic studio.
Summarizing her journey, Khatri said, “Some artists are born with this creativity but I don’t count myself one of them. I came here, that's why I learned. I would say Gopal sir actually gave birth to me as an artist. The way he explains every single detail has helped me to explore even more.”
As for her future plans, Khatri plans to combine her skills and create something unique with it. “I have learned pottery in this studio and I’m studying about colours in my bachelors. In the coming days, I want to combine these two skills and do something with them. I will also keep on continuing teaching pottery to others", she added.