The eminence of Rajasthan's handicrafts, like dhurrie weaving, lac work, leather craft and more, has reached foreign shores. Among these famous and indigenous artistic practices, is the timeless tradition of pottery. Stay safe in your homes as we take you on a virtual tour of Rajasthan's 5 different districts- Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Alwar and Sawai Madhopur, which ought to be explored through the eyes of a pottery-lover. We assure you that these 5 pottery styles of Rajasthan will bind you to your screens with their enchanting aura!
Apart from being the famous site for 1998 nuclear bomb tests, Pokhran is also famous for its distinct tradition of terracotta pottery. The stylised patterns with geometrical etchings of Pokhran Pottery distinguish it from other clay handicrafts. Artisans trained in this style usually produce traditional utensils, such as surahi and lota.
Potters of Alwar are famous for fashioning paper-thin pottery, known as Kagzi Pottery, whose roots are traced back to the medieval era. This style of pottery has unique designs that require certain finesse, which only a few trained artisans can practice and produce. Further, Kagzi Pottery items are extremely lightweight and are known for their biscuit-like colour.
The Nohar centre of Rajasthan's Bikaner is famous for its distinguished style of painting terracotta pottery items. A by-product of shellac purification, lac is used for painting the surface of the baked items and it imparts a golden finish. It is claimed that the shimmery hues of Bikaner Pottery bear a resemblance to the sand dunes of the region.
Black Pottery is a unique tradition that has been famously nurtured in the Sawai Madhopur district of Rajasthan. Local artisans use thoroughly cleaned clay obtained from the banks of River Banas to mould it into myriad shapes on their potter's wheel. Final goods are sun-dried and then baked in a kiln, which gives the items a greyish-black colour.
This tradition of no-clay pottery traces its roots to Mongolia, however, in India, it found a home in Jaipur. Artisans work on ground quartz, Fuller's Earth, powdered glass, borax, gum and water to mould the mix into beautiful shapes. This tradition of pottery derives its names from the striking blue colour used to paint the items.
Whenever in this state after the pandemic recedes, do indulge in purchases of indigenous pottery items from here and show your support for the local artisans. Until then, we hope that this listicle helps you in virtually crossing geographical boundaries during this pandemic and to satiate the travel bug in you!