Blue Pottery – a Delicate Art
“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.” – Oscar Wilde
India and its art & culture never fail to amaze us. It lives up to its label of a diverse land being the origin of various art forms which reflects the soul of its roots. Every art is a worship – it takes a lot of time to perfect an art form and even more time to reach to people and get appreciated.
Handicraft and pottery are among a few which have not gained much name but are one of those arts which reveal our culture in a way that none of the others do.
Speaking of which, BLUE POTTERY is one such flourishing and mesmerizing art form that has traveled miles to create an existence of its own. We just need to dig a little deeper so as to know some more about it.
Basically a Turko-Persian in derivation!
Blue Pottery has been widely acknowledged as a traditional craft of Jaipur, the roots are even deeper as it is basically a Turko-Persian derivation.
The Mongol artisans are believed to have created the art, who combined Chinese glazing technology with Persian decoration which is now popularly known as the BLUE POTTERY.
This technique traveled to India following the conquests and arrival of Mughals in India. Then, it gradually traveled to Jaipur through Delhi.
A form of Blue Pottery with ‘No Clay’ content!
Pottery, in all aspect, is related to clay. It is hard to imagine pottery without clay. But to a surprise, Blue Pottery is the only form of pottery that does not use clay as its ingredient.
The ‘dough’ for the pottery is prepared by mixing quartz stone powder, powdered glass, Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth), borax, gum, and water. The product is molded in parts and then joined.
Called ‘the Delicate Art.’ Why?
It is so called because being fired at a very low temperature makes it fragile in nature. It is equally delicate and sensitive form of pottery in its later stages too. Once a product is ruined, it cannot be reworked and it is not possible to predict the results beforehand.
Decoration and Ornamentation are what defines Blue Pottery!
The blue color is achieved by the oxidizing of cobalt, while the green from chromium and copper oxides.Though these days, artisans have also started experimenting with some non-conventional colors such as yellow (cadmium oxide), red-brown (iron oxide).
The fine piece of Blue Pottery art with fine uses.
As of now, we know how delicate the art is and so are the end products. Blue Pottery finds its place in homes and offices, in hotels and restaurants, as ashtrays, tiles, flower pots, lamp shades, jars and decoration items.
It is believed that Mughal kings used blue pottery to test their food. If the color of the glaze changed, they knew the food had been tampered and may be poisoned.
This beautiful craft continues to be the outcome of the creative expression and skill of the craftsmen that thrives in many corners of the Pink City of Jaipur, which celebrates this vibrant and colorful art of BLUE POTTERY and has accepted it as one of its own.