I am really annoyed today. My potters’ electric wheel was to come in last week and there is no sign of it even this week. And the guy who is to deliver the same just laughs and tell me..he he he..madam abhi bhi nahi aaya hai. Since I can’t create my own pottery at home I will just sit and ogle at some blue pottery from Jaipur and continue with my series of posts on crafts from Rajasthan.
It is called blue pottery, because of the Persian blue green dye that is used to color the clay, which is glazed and then fired at a low temperature. The blue color stems from the use of cobalt oxide and the green is from copper oxide. There is a very fascinating tale on how it actually entered Rajasthan. The city of Jaipur was found in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh I and he encouraged craftsmen from all over the country to come and practice their craft in Jaipur. As a result of this by the beginning of the 19th century the city was established as a crafts centre. In keeping with the traditions of his forefathers, Sawai Ram Singh II (1835-1880) set up a school of art and continued to invite artists and craftsmen. While attending a kite flying session one day he saw his kite masters lose every game to these two brothers from Achnera (Near Agra).He decided to ask them the secret of their skills and discovered that the brothers were actually potters and had coated their kite strings with very same Blue green glaze that they glazed their pots with. Sawai Ram Singh was so impressed that he invited them to stay back in Jaipur and teach their craft at his new school.
Jaipur blue pottery traditionally uses animal, bird & flower motifs.There is lot that one can create with the readymade pieces of blue pottery bought from the market. These days other than the regular urns, flower pots, plates, etc potters are making ash trays, animals and birds, door knobs and many other objects.
- Ash trays can easily be filled with wax, just dip a wick in and you have your very own blue pottery candle ready.
- Smaller and flatter animal pieces like the tortoise and door knobs can be used to make beautiful art pieces. Put a few of them together and get it framed or better still fix a mirror on a piece of plywood (ply to be slightly bigger than the mirror). Paint the plywood in colors that compliment Blue & Green and stick the animals/door knobs on it. You could also add tiny mirrors in various shapes around. Get your carpenter to drill holes in the ply to hang the mirror and it’s done!
Leaving you with some pieces that I had thrown on the wheel some months back, (not blue pottery though)
I hope I get my wheel soon :)