Neha Ramaiya – Creating a web of joy & healing

It is often said that art is therapeutic. However, seldom do we come across an artist that has devoted their life to use art as a source of healing and creative expression for themselves and countless others. Meet Neha Ramaiya, the founder of YellowSpiders Potter’s Club – a pottery school in Mumbai.

Neha graduated from the JJ School of Art in Ceramics. She completed her Masters from NID in 2006. Neha dabbled in various jobs but soon realised that the one thing that gave her real joy was pottery. In 2009, she set up a studio in her home as she already had all the necessary equipment. Soon a person came to enquire if she was open to teaching, and Neha got her first student! Since then she has had over 300 students.

Neha believes that working with clay has numerous therapeutic benefits. She opines, “Clay is a very grounding material and it has many cooling properties. If somebody has hypertension and they start working with clay, it balances their blood pressure. It also helps in anger management.” She adds, “When you work with clay, you use your fingertips that are the most sensitive part of your body, because all your nerves end there. So you get this direct neuron connection to your brain and it exercises your brain. Moreover, pottery is probably one of the only artistic mediums, where you use both your hands. This activates the right and left side of the brain. This enhances both analytical and creative skills and brings harmony to the body.”

Neha works extensively with women and children. She shares, “We conducted a workshop along with Mr. Nabhiraj Mehta who runs a school for autistic children. These are children who will not look into your eye, who will not talk to you, who have had a meltdown. I have worked with these children and they have actually sat down and had a conversation with me. If I talk to them about what they have made, they explain to me in such detail and so beautifully that you can’t say that this child has any kind of a problem. I don’t believe autism is a problem. No disability is a problem…everything can be healed.”

YellowSpider also conducts corporate workshops. Neha reveals, “That’s the commercial side of my venture. We help organisations with team building exercises like creating murals. Such a collaborative project helps in enhancing communication and when the artwork is complete, it can be displayed at the reception or façade of the work place. So each time an employee sees the artwork, he can recall that sense of camaraderie he shared with his co-workers.”

The story behind how Neha came up with the name ‘YellowSpider’ is very interesting. She shares, “I love spiders. I know they are creepy insects but spiders are also very beautiful. A spider’s web is intricate and conforms to the principles of sacred geometry. That was my design perspective. When I was thinking about the name, it was one of those eureka moments where the song ‘Yellow Submarine’ was playing in the background. ‘Yellow Spider’ just clicked as a very positive, bright and happy name. This was when I was in college and it was a decision that no matter what I do in life, I will call it Yellow Spider!”

Neha’s message to women, who would like to make their passion a profession, is practical and inspiring. She says, “If financially you need to run the house, then you can’t give all your time to your passion…which is understandable. I would say just give an hour a day to what you really love. Everybody has a creative passion. Some people have a passion for numbers, so they can do Sudoku or puzzles for an hour. Start pursuing it and start taking notes. Start writing how happy, or how positive you feel…keep a small diary. Do this consistently for a month. Try to make some connection with your passion that will translate into financial benefits. For example if you like writing, you can start a blog and translate your blog into something that will start giving you some sort of financial security. And in no time you will see that it uplifts you and it becomes your profession. We need to build the confidence of our passion.”

YellowSpider has grown as a hub for creativity, warmth and healing. Soon they will start retailing as well. Neha shares, “I started by myself, but now I have two amazing partners – Harshada, who is an architect and Nupur, who comes from a finance background. I am very proud to have converted both of them into potters!”

Neha’s tryst with clay and pottery has been a cathartic process for herself as well as countless others. She quips, “I plan to convert everyone who comes to my studio into a potter!”

At WEBO Power, we congratulate Neha on following her passion and bringing joy and healing to others through her talent and art.

Interviewed By: Supriya Mathur, Team WEBO Power
Posted On: January 10, 2014

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2 Comments on “Neha Ramaiya – Creating a web of joy & healing”

  1. Team WEBO Power #

    Thanks for your comment Neerja! Neha is indeed a very talented artist and it has been an absolute pleasure for us to showcase her work.

    January 20, 2014 at 6:53 am Reply
  2. Neerja #

    I know Neha now for many years- since i got introduced to this creative walk of life. Her passion for clay creativity scales the zenith mark. I feel like stealing all that she creates as and when i visit her studio. The Studio reeks or art-raw & commercial-how can it not be therapeutic & that too with Mother Earth? Neha breathes, talks, dreams clay & pottery. I can’t not wish her tremendous success further.

    January 11, 2014 at 4:54 am Reply

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