Rajasthani Art is held in high esteem throughout the world. Marble sculpture or miniature paintings or frescoes each of the art has held their own significance throughout the ages. Creativity and artistic skills of the people of Rajasthan is acknowledged all over the world. I am passionate about one such art ‘ The Art of Blue Pottery‘. It is surprising to know that it is the only form of pottery which is not made of clay….Almost everyone relates pottery to one thing, and one thing only – CLAY! Blue pottery accents are created from Egyptian paste made by combining powdered glass, quartz stone powder, Multani Mitti (Fuller’s Earth), gum, borax and water. The term ‘blue pottery ‘ originated from the startling Persian blue dye used to dye the ceramic. The colour palette is limited. However in recent times more and more colours like green, turquoise, brown, yellow are prominent.
The dough is a mixture of quartz stone powder, powdered or ground glass, Multaani Mitti or Fuller’s Earth, borax, gum, and water. The first step involves required quantity of the dough to be rolled and divided equally into the moulds. The dough is pressed and moulds are turned over such that the dough portions acquire the shapes of their moulds, respectively and is left to dry for a day or two. Once the forms have been shaped, their surface is smoothened with the help of a base stone, water and sandpaper. They are then dipped after drying into a mixture of quartz powder, glass powder and water for finishing.
The designing wherein various kinds of animal or flower motifs are drawn on the surface is done using a mixture of copper oxide and gum. Glazing is a part of the final phase where potassium nitrate, zinc oxide, powdered glass, borax, and boric acid are mixed or left to cool down. Small stone like deposits formed during the coolong process is further crushed and mixed with water and maida. Finally, the prepared products are heated in the closed kiln fuelled with charcoal at temperatures of 800 to 850 degrees Celsius.
Origin and Evolution
The craft having originated in China was later practised in Turkey and the Netherlands and was brought to India during the Mughal period via Kashmir. It has said to have gained maximum popularity during the reign of Sawai Ram Singh II, circa 19th century. Places of historical significance such as the Rambagh Palace have retained specimens of blue pottery. Though blue pottery faded by 1950s, it was brought back to the limelight by various art patrons, especially due to the efforts of muralist Kripal Singh Shekhawat, in Jaipur. Currently, a thriving blue pottery industry exists in Jaipur that supports indigenous artisans.
In my previous blog, I have spoken about how in Little Spells we met and partnered with master artisans across the country blending our modern style with their time-tested techniques. Taking forward this initiative we have developed our range of contemporary wall decor plates using the traditional art of blue pottery. These blue pottery wall plates are inspired by nature, the sea and tropical fruits. The hip wall hangings are playful and gracious at the same time, they bring a beautiful outdoor experience to your home decor space.
Do you want to bring home these elegant blue pottery plates to your home? You can log on to our website littlespells and add a bit of magical vibes to your homes!