Daroz was a student in Baroda for two years but stayed on in the city for 10 years, working professionally as an artist and expanding his range of skills and techniques. He learnt how to throw on the Paddle wheel and make earthenware glazes for the electric kiln. There was no wood-fired kiln and there was a lot of experimentation of materials and searching for technical answers.
One of the first professional jobs he had was to work as a designer for Shon Ceramics in 1973. He was interested in how to use the glaze faults of blistering, cracking, crazing and pin holing as an artistic surface in his search for textures resembling aerial landscapes. He saw tremendous aesthetic potential in these surfaces and sought to replicate volcanic, underwater and geological strata in his murals and architectural works.
Daroz left Shon Ceramics after nine months when he received his first mural commission from the Baroda Planetarium. For a work on this scale he needed to use a larger kiln and workshop and thus started his partnership at the Small Scale Semi-Industrial Pottery units at Thangarh in Gujarat. At that time there were nearly 200 family potteries working in slip casting with a semi-fire clay body making small toys, modeled animals and decorative objects, tableware, etc with stains in an white opaque or transparent glaze. Daroz took his electric Shaila wheel to Thangarh and started using the readily available clay and kilns. It was here that he learned about plaster moulds, jigger jolleying and slipcasting techniques. He was in awe of the sheer volume and array of pots that were produced in a single day by all the families and the manner in which they integrated the whole family into the production process. Daroz didn't want to use the ready made glazes available there so he started experimenting with oxides like rutile, calcined whiting and crystal glazes in order to achieve a different personal aesthetic in a single firing.
After Shon ceramics, he accepted a job at Parshuram Potteries in Thangarh where he designed tableware in the modeling dept and illustrated for the children's tableware series. He was disillusioned and left the job due to the lack of support and understanding from the management towards the concept of design and the role of the designer in industry. However, industry always remained the basis of his future experimentation and was throughout, a sound platform for the sheer scale and volume of his works that were not possible in a modestly equipped potter's studio in an urban context.
In 1972, Daroz assisted his teacher Professor K.G.Subramaniam to make the Bangladesh terracotta murals series with slabs. This is when he understood that one can be inspired by tradition and combine it with contemporary concepts. The actual making technique can be old but when used with a modern sensibility, it is charged with relevance and context. Though surrounded by painters and sculptors, not many artists were working with clay at that time. He was highly influenced by Satish Gujral and K.G.Subramaniam's use of clay that extended to sculptures and murals. In the following years he accepted various commissions with all kinds of technical challenges.
Today Daroz's name has become synonymous with Architectural Large-Scale Ceramic Installations in India. His impressive list of commissions include the famous pillars series and freestanding doorway structures, the large warrior pots and the textured and patterned wall murals spanning several storeys of a building in height.
The ceramic large scale wall mural is a format that many artists in India enjoy in public spaces and as private commissions from corporate houses and private domestic residences. The scope of making a dramatic artistic statement is unlimited as the size of the canvas is vast. From the beginnings of the Copper Chimney restaurant series, to the huge murals at the IFFCO towers in New Delhi, Daroz has repeatedly shown his mastery over the monumental format in the ceramic medium.
The second large mural commission for the Copper Chimney Restaurant chain in Mumbai, Chennai and Muscat from 1986 onwards has faces peeping through and divided by grill-like façade structures in doorways and windows symbolizing the psyche as a complex puzzle in life. Both playful and commanding, the inspiration for the Copper Chimney murals was also from a group trip with fellow artists to Mandu. “ It's a haunting architecture, the gates speak to you. You are looking at speaking doors with thoughts, memories and experiences..”
Doorways and-modular woks-
“I was inspired by the monuments of Mandu with its haunting aura of free gateways and arches opening out to framed and vast spaces; the grills splintered with glimpses of faces; a lotus pond in full view. The terracotta temples of Bengal, no less inspiring, appeared to me as glorified containers, with demarcated areas of specific acts. If the monuments of Mandu were absorbed in space, these terracotta temples created and appropriated their own ambience.”
In 1999, the commission for the swimming pool and arches for Rakesh Aggarwal Farmhouse, Baroda, saw Daroz moving to Thangarh to make the commission in a semi-industrial factory using their tunnel kiln. It became a remarkable installation with a a series of four tall squared arches leading into a fantasia swimming pool, like a Gujarati step well, where the blue glazed tiles of the floor of the pool are an underwater dreamworld with multi coloured fish forms. Six other free standing columns up to a height of 9 ft recall the dry stalks and bushels of wheat in the nearby fields. The gates and pillars were all slip cast hollow blocks fired with a dolomite matt-speckled cream to brown glaze with iron oxide rubbed highlights.
Images swimming pool