pottery

Pottery

Simple and traditional, ethnic and chic, earthen pottery concurs every household and serves every individual with the essence and flavor of Mother Nature! A sip of chai (tea) from the earthy kullar adds in a nostalgic savor whereas green and brick-red hues of the plant in terracotta pot add in life to you interior. From storing vessels to other kitchen paraphernalia, from the garden pots to home decorating accessories, clay pottery enlivens and compliments any ambience it is sited in.

Product Description

Community Involved
Two communities in Patan the Hindu Khatris and the Shaikh Muslims, share the weaving of  mashru.

Main Centers:
At pottery especially those coming from Kutch and Saurastra. Earthenwares of different shapes and sizes are produced. Banaskantha produces water pots that are very artistic. A small village in Kutch Vidi has abundant white clay, which provides the clay required for manufacturing soft white pottery. In Saurastra one can find a particular type of clay called `gopichandan` because it is similar to chandan (sandalwood). A finished article of gopichandan has a beautiful gloss.

Estimated artisans: 10,000 to 20,0 00artisans

Simple and traditional, ethnic and chic, earthen pottery concurs every household and serves every individual with the essence and flavor of Mother Nature! A sip of chai (tea) from the earthy kullar adds in a nostalgic savor whereas green and brick-red hues of the plant in terracotta pot add in life to you interior. From storing vessels to other kitchen paraphernalia, from the garden pots to home decorating accessories, clay pottery enlivens and compliments any ambience it is sited in.

The timeless earthy appeal of terracotta ware or clay pottery is the epitome of human imagination. Clay as the symbol of life and growth has been associated with growth, creativity, utility and religion since time immemorial. From the most historic civilization to the contemporary living, mati or clay has served and has been a part of Indian households. Beside the aesthetical pleasure, clay pottery has been providing innumerable benefits to be prevalently recounted as the most admired and popular form of functional art. The low-fired temperature makes it ecologically practical and bio-degradable; the porous property serves as a coolant without wasting energy and the rich iron matter in clay acts as anti-bacterial.

Matka or water pots for dry storage of grains, chulla or the mud hearth to kunnu and tapelu for cooking, gamla for growing plants to luminous diya glowing in the dark and the ritualistic ghada, potters of Gujarat create a varied range of products portraying and venerating the blossoming aspects of Mother Earth.

Pottery of Gujarat is uniquely identified by the linear geometric patterns flowing fluidly in black and white on the surface of brick red earthen background. Akin to the patterns found on clayware of Harappan civilization, these designs reflect the cultural identity specific to geographical locations as well as the product. Another interesting variety of clay pottery is the terracotta vessels coated with lac from inside and outside, lac forms a smooth thin layer which helps in retaining moisture in the food.

 Technique

•    Hand Building or Coiling Technique
The shaping of clay by hand using the coiling technique to make a variety of products predates molding and the usage of the wheel. Products are hand sculpted using coiling, pinching, slabbing methods.

In this skill intensive technique, clay is rolled into long threads which are added in continuous spiral to form the shape of the pot. This is then pinched and beaten together to form the body. Parts of the product are joined together by a paste made of clay and water known as ‘slip’ and ‘slurry’. Hand sculpted objects in clay are one of a kind retaining their individual character.

•    Potter’s Wheel
A wheel is the obvious impression of a potter’s workshop. The potter’s wheel lends itself in shaping objects of radial symmetry on a vertical plane. A mound of clay is placed on the wheel-head and is commonly known as the throwing process. Further process of giving the mound a desired shape and hollowing it out on the rotating platter is often considered as the most difficult part. Through skill and dexterity a certain degree of mass production and uniformity of products is also possible.

A wheel is the obvious impression of a potter’s workshop. The potter’s wheel lends itself in shaping objects of radial symmetry on a vertical plane. A mound of clay is placed on the wheel-head and is commonly known as the throwing process. Further process of giving the mound a desired shape and hollowing it out on the rotating platter is often considered as the most difficult part. Through skill and dexterity a certain degree of mass production and uniformity of products is also possible.

Products ranging from water pots to tableware, take shape on the wheel and the revolving platter is also used to mold plates and bowls. The platter or turntable is either turned by hand or in lot of cases today is motorized. Further enhancement of the product is done by various techniques like glazing, carving, painting etc.

•    Engobe Embellishment
Engobe is a method of beautifying the surface of a clay or terracotta product by embellishing the surface before baking. The method deals with the application of a clay paste or slurry which has been stained with metal oxides to give it color.

•    Low Relief  
Low relief is one of the simplest forms of ornamentation technique for clay or mud work. Clay is pinched or molded onto a variety of patterns on a flat surface. The unique quality of this art form is the shallowness of the projected image and the usage of other elements such as glass, beads etc embedded into the design.

The craft products:  Pot, Plate, Diya, Candle, Glass etc.

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