The long festive break is over.
Winter is all set to settle.
I took a month long break from the virtual world.
And now I am back with some interesting articles and work 🙂
My next set of Jewellery is ready.
The very first look is coming out very soon with an interesting subject.
Blue is my favorite color.
Today, I am sharing with you one of the most beautiful pottery of India.
Blue Pottery is Turko-Persian in origin, but today is widely known as one of the
distinctive crafts of Jaipur.
When the city of Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh I,
craftsmen from all over the country were invited to come and make their home in this new city. Royal patronage, lucrative offers and the attraction of living in a beautiful city
led many artisans and craftsmen to come and settle in Jaipur.
By the beginning of the 19th century the city was well established as a thriving art centre.
In keeping with the traditions of his forefathers, Sawai Ram Singh II (1835-1880)
set up a school of art and continued to encourage artists and craftsmen.
Blue Pottery took an interesting route in finding its home in Jaipur.
There was a time when it all but vanished from Jaipur
but the efforts of several concerned people like
Smt. Kamla Devi Chattopadhaya and Ramata Gaytri Devi
helped to revive this dying art.
Jaipur blue pottery, made out of Egyptian paste, is glazed and low-fired.
No clay is used: the ‘dough’ for the pottery is prepared by mixing quartz stone powder,
powdered glass, Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth), borax, gum and water.
Another source cites Katira Gond powder (a gum), and saaji (soda bicarbonate) as ingredients.
Blue Pottery is based on ground quartz.
The dough is pressed into moulds and the unfired pieces are hand painted with oxide colours, dipped in clear glaze and fired once in wooden kilns.
The process is very tedious and time consuming.
Once made, the blue pottery items cannot be reworked.
It is a craft where one is never sure if the finished product will have the exact shade
that one may have wanted.
The smallest mistake could lead to the piece either cracking up or turning black.
The outlines are drawn in cobalt oxide using a squirrel-tail brush
(little ground squirrels are frequently run over, and the painters collect the tails, from which they make their own brushed).
The design is filled in with other metal oxides, each of which is transformed
into a bright colour by firing.
The oxide of cobalt becomes a deep blue, that of chromium changes to green,
cadmium produces a bright yellow and iron oxide becomes a red-brown.
The piece is then dipped into a homemade glaze of glass, borax and lead oxide
which is made adhesive by the addition of boiled flour.
When enough dried pieces have built up they are fired at 800 – 850o C for six hours
in a closed kiln fulled with charcoal, All melts, but 80 per cent of the quartz is left, and this maintains the form of the vessel.
There are 30 units exclusively producing Blue Pottery items in and around Jaipur.
Even when 80% of the production from these units is being exported,
lack of standardization and proper specification found the markets getting saturated.
Besides, repetitive procedures resulted in low productivity
higher cost of production, making it less competitive abroad.
The traditional blue pottery of Jaipur will soon turn environment friendly
with the introduction of a new technology which makes it free from lead and cadmium.
The exquisite ceramic ware, with typical hand-painted motifs adopted from Persia
by the Jaipur king Sawai Ram Singh in the 19th century, will be fit to adorn dining tables
in the future as they would be
lead-free, less porous, and with an ultra-high-strength body.