You probably noticed pottery that stands out the most from the other ceramics. Eye-catching blue color is the most recognizable detail and widely recognized. This type of pottery is called Blue pottery. But it is not just the color that makes this ceramics special. In this article, we will dive into the origin of this ancient craft and answer what is blue pottery?
Blue pottery is a unique form of ceramics originating from India. The name ‘blue pottery’ comes from the eye-catching decorated blue pigment used to color the pottery. Getting its name from the turquoise blue color, this pottery is famous especially in the form of lamps, vases, tiles, and plates.
Different types of art and craft have their roots in Indian subcontinent and one of most recognizable is blue pottery.
Although it is Turko-Persian in origin, this art is widely recognized as a traditional craft of Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan where it was spread to China and this type of pottery is one of the oldest in the world.
Who Started Jaipur Blue Pottery?
In the early 19th-century ruler Sawai Ram Singh II, sent craftsmen to Delhi to learn this art.
Later in the 1960s, it had its renaissance orchestrated by muralist and painter Kripal Singh Shekhawat, also known as the ‘Father of Blue Pottery’.
Nowadays, this is a flourishing industry.
Aside from Blue pottery, ceramic tiles of Multan are also a very popular form of this craft, and it is frequently used in homes, mosques, shrines, or other buildings to give a fascinating look.
Some artistic work areas are even displayed in the London Museum to represent the rich ceramic art of Pakistan.
How Is Blue Pottery Done?
Blue Pottery is made from quartz and not clay. Materials that are used include quartz, raw glaze, sodium sulfate, and multani mitti, and it is fired only once.
The biggest advantage is that blue pottery does not develop any cracks during the firing process and blue pottery is also hygienic, impervious and suitable for daily use. Blue pottery is beautifully decorated with a brush when the pot is rotated.
The blue color or turquoise color is obtained by mixing crude copper oxide with salt or sugar in a kiln and then filtering it for use. The dark ultramarine color is obtained from cobalt oxide. The common motifs are inspired from Mugal era arabesque patterns, animal and bird motifs.
The products made include plates, flower vases, soap dishes, surahis (a small pitcher), trays, coasters, fruit bowls, doorknobs, and glazed tiles with hand-painted floral designs. The craft is found mainly in Jaipur, but also in other places like Sanganer, Mahalan, and Neota.
The Blue Pottery or Blue Glaze pottery is an ancient and unique craft practiced in India from time immemorial.
Historically Jaipur city has evolved as the main center for producing the famous Blue pottery articles, but later it spread in surrounding areas Kot Jewar which became the next big center after Jaipur in producing Blue Pottery.
It is a small village about 60 km away from Jaipur where around 300 families settled in this village out of which around 200 are involved in Blue Pottery craft and other families practice farming.
Blue pottery as the name suggests is mainly made in blue color. But, with the changing time and availability of new colors, artisans are using other colors too.
3 Less Known Facts About The Blue Pottery!
- The only form of pottery where you don’t use clay – When talking about pottery there is always one thing in common to all ceramics pieces and that is: clay!
Blue pottery, however, will surprise you because it is the only form of pottery that the main ingredient is not clay. Major components of the dough are ground quartz stone, glass, Fuller’s Earth (MulataniMitti), borax, and a few other chemicals. There are a set of complex processes involved in the production that involves a lot of skill.
- The blue and green colors often found on the products are due to the use of Cobalt Oxide and Copper Oxide – While most of the forms use dyes and paints, Blue Pottery uses chemical compounds like Cobalt Oxide – for blue color and Copper Oxide – for green color along with all the other conventional components to impart color to its products. These colors, along with white mostly comprise the color palette. In modern times non-conventional shades such as yellow, pink, and sometimes brown have also found a place as the art continues to grow.
- Blue tiles decorating the medieval buildings in Central Asia – In the beginning, Blue Pottery was combined with tile making, as then practiced by the Mongols and the Turks. As decorative accessories, the tiles were used inside the tombs, mosques, and other buildings in Central Asia.
Later, the Mughals started using them in India and slowly the technique found a place in pottery, no longer remaining just an architectural accessory.
The Best Place To Buy Blue Pottery In Jaipur
Website Tripsavvy listed some of the best places if you are traveling to that part of the world.
Blue Pottery: Kripal Kumbh
ADDRESS B-18, Shiv Marg, Banipark, Kanti Nagar, Bani Park, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302016, India
Indian Handicrafts: Rajasthali
Opposite, MI Road, Ajmeri Gate, Jayanti Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
Cheap Clothing and Accessories: Bapu Bazaar
Bargain-hunters trawl the lanes of Jaipur’s main market — Bapu Bazaar, which lies along the road between New Gate and Sanganeri Gate in the Old City.
Handcrafted Textiles: Anokhi
ADDRESS Anokhi Haveli Kheri Gate, Amer, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302028, India
Jewelry (Inexpensive): The Silver Shop
51, Hathroi Fort, Hari Kishan Somani Marg, Ajmer Rd, Hathroi, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302001, India
Blue pottery is a form of artwork that could have faced extinction in India, but managed to survive the test of time and continues to flourish. Today it is one of the art forms which generates employment in Rajasthan and provides livelihood.
This form in India was the brainchild of the royal families of Rajasthan due to which this form of art is particularly famous in this state in the form of handicrafts. The presence of this artwork in countries like Iran, Afghanistan, and India talks about the route it traveled to gain more presence in India.