14th - 22nd Aug | 9th Oct - 17th Oct
Leh - Likir - Nubra
Rare art of hand-built Likir pottery | Lessons from the last practicing potter | Exploration in Sham and Nubra Valley | Immersive local experiences | 9 days stay in a local homestay | Wholesome Ladakhi meals | Limited to 8 travelers
Duration : 9 Days / 8 Nights
Starts from : INR 39,990 / Person (Twin sharing)
Flights not included
Flight booking assistance will be provided
The art of Likir Pottery | Ladakh
A Quick Glance
Be exhilarated by some of the world's most breathtaking and untouched locations. as you dive into the earthen, imperfect, yet charming Likir Pottery with Lamchung and Rigzin - the last two active practitioners. Learn various hand building and glazing techniques as you experience the beautiful and relaxing nature of the ceramic process and create your own objects and artefacts and in the process, preventing the art from extinction.
This nine-day edition of The Blank Collective has been curated to help you learn the basics and the specifics of Likir pottery in the exclusive masterclass of an expert artist-instructor while immersing in the Ladakhi way of life. Escape to the remote villages, encounter royal palaces, meet local monks, admire centuries old paintings and artforms, star-gaze to your heart’s content, and witness silver sand-dunes – a fulfilling dream.
After meeting at the Leh Airport, we travel to Likir village - home to the rare artform of Likir Pottery. For the upcoming days, we’ll be staying here with another artist family who are also neighbors of Lamchung and Rigzin. It goes without saying that Ladakh is well above sea-level (much of it being over 9,800 ft). At such a high altitude it’ll take at least a day to acclimatise and what better way to do that than to take a leisurely stroll around the beautiful wilderness that lies just outside your homestay?
We’ll spend our evening interacting with the artists and each other, setting expectations, and being introduced to the history and craft of pottery including it’s 1000 years old story.
Day 2 - 6
Each morning, learn to mould clay in a rare way, from the last known artists of the form. This includes getting to know the locally-sourced materials, preparing the clay , tools, techniques, shapes and forms. Essentially, Likir pottery is hand-built, using an intricate set of wooden tools and hand-made wheel.
Once you get familiar with the material, you will start working on your own products (you’re free to create whatever you fancy). If time permits, we will also decorate and glaze to complete your own piece of art to bring home. The instruction methods are suitable for both beginners and advanced students, and open-ended teaching encourages creativity.
We will explore the 11th century Likir monastery, exuberating peace and tranquility. On another day we trek to a peak that no commercial guidebook ever did mention. We also pay a visit to one of the monastic jewels of Ladakh - Alchi Monastery. This 900-year-old monastery houses dilapidated Buddhist murals and sheds light on a fabled civilization. Other days we will have a riverside picnic where you can take in the incredible views, visit the Gon-nila-phuk painted caves, and help in the farm.
Day 6 - 8
We leave Likir (Sham Valley) to explore Nubra valley which is home to some of the most isolated villages, Lakes, springs, glaciers, even sand dunes.
Enroute we will take ample stops at some incredible places; like Sangam - the confluence of Indus and Zanskar river, and a royal palace. We would also visit the heritage village of Turtuk where you can experience the history and culture of Balti people. How about spending an evening learning to cook like a local?
Upon returning to Leh, you can explore its bustling market, stocked up on souvenirs, and refuel in a local cafe with a glass of the local delicacy – fresh sea buckthorn and apricot juice.
Set your alarm nice and early for your final day in Ladakh. We will hike to Soma Gompa in time to take in the mesmerising panoramic views.
After enjoying a delicious breakfast, wave goodbye to this spellbinding land as you fly home with stories, an artistic trait and a self-made memento of your time spent in Ladakh.
What Ladakh Edition Includes
Introduction to all ceramic phases of pottery.
Learning hand building techniques to make typical Ladakhi kitchenware such as incense pots and lamps, teapots, water jugs and chang (an alcoholic beverage) makers.
Advanced techniques of coiling, clay sculpture or making larger pots for those with experience.
8 Nights & 9 Days accommodation (twin-sharing) in thoughtfully selected accommodations that reveal the true character of the region
Wholesome meals on the house — breakfast, lunch, & dinner. Local beverages tasting included too
One-on-one discussions and feedback with the mentor
Equipment and Stationery for your creative project
One-night camping and watching shooting stars and the Milky Way (subject to weather conditions)
Your own ceramic pottery pieces
Bilingual guides with extensive local knowledge
Group transfers to and from the airport
Price from INR 39,990*
What was once practised by the entire village is being kept alive today only by a father and son - Lamchung Tsepail and Rigzin Namgyal
Lamchung started pottery at the age of 15 when his father passed away, and he was forced to take up this trade to sustain the family. It has been over 45 years since and he continues his work, with the same determination and energy, to preserve the traditional technique of pottery.
Their expertise lies in making functional objects for the kitchen and house — from pots, plates, bowls, mugs, to decorative pieces and souvenirs. Each of which exudes rusticity and romanticism, imperfect and textured surfaces that transmit purity, satisfaction and freedom of handmade pieces.
In the past few years, the artist duo have received much recognition and awards for their work and legacy. Together, they also teach their craft to local and foreign students and village women in their studio as part of workshops held by the Jammu and Kashmir directorate of handicrafts and NGOs like INTACH.
Lamchung would like to share his knowledge with people from different geographies, so they too, can appreciate the beauty of Likir pottery and maybe, find people who can take this art form forward.