Ananth Arumugam is the fourth generation to run KS Pottery Resources, which was established more than 100 years ago.
The family gets its raw clay from a quarry located in Batang Berjuntai, Kuala Selangor.
Raw clay must first be cleaned by filter-pressing it to remove any impurities, such as small stones and roots.
The filter-pressed clay will be brought to another machine where it is further processed to change its density, depending on the type of end product.
The processed clay is then moulded into the shape of a Pannai clay pot by hand.
It takes three to four days to complete a clay pot from start to finish.
A good-quality earthen pot can be determined based on its sound. The sharper the sound, the higher the quality.
Ananth estimates that his factory produces 350 to 600 Pongal clay pots in a day.
After being baked in a boiler at 1,200°C, the clay pots are left to further dry out in the sun.
Once completely dried, each clay pot is polished to smoothen out any rough edges.
Besides Pongal clay pots, KS Pottery Resources also produces oil, or ghee, lamps.
The oil lamps are used on a daily basis and during Karthigai Deepam later in the year.
The last step is to spray paint floral patterns added specially for Pongal.
It requires a steady hand to create these simple but beautiful designs.
The demand for Pongal clay pots is high every year, often ranging between 30,000 and 40,000 units.
The clay pots are delivered throughout Malaysia and even Singapore.