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Monday, August 18, 2008

Shopping in India : Indian Pottery Style - 9

Guys, the art of making blue glaze pottery came to Rajasthan via Kashmir, their entry point into India. The name comes from the eye-catching Persian blue dye used to color the clay. The Jaipur blue pottery, made out of Egyptian paste, is glazed and low-fired. Some of this pottery is semi-transparent and mostly decorated with animal and bird motifs. Being fired at very low temperature makes them fragile. The range of items is primarily decorative, such as ashtrays, vases, coasters, small bowls and boxes for trinkets. The colour palette is restricted to blue derived from the cobalt oxide, green from the copper oxide and white, though other non-conventional colours, such as yellow and brown are sometimes included.

The popularity of ceramics can be seen from the numerous categories and types one finds all over India. Functional, unsophisticated, simple but attractive pottery shapes lay an emphasis on the dignity of form. The most common clay object is the all-purpose kullar (cup-like container) used for serving water or tea, sometimes decorated with geometrical and floral designs.

There are a variety of objects specially produced for festive occasions, such as lamps for Diwali, toys for Dusshera, pots for seedlings at Sankranti and colourful kalash (pots) for marriages. Many products are also used for decoration and make great gifts. Some of which are Karigari (design) pottery, ashtrays, flower-vases, tea sets, paperweights and decorative animal figures.

Delhi is famous for its 'Blue' pottery that uses an eye-catching Persian blue dye to colour the clay. Blue pottery is glazed and high-fired which makes it tougher than the others. Another version, the Jaipur blue pottery is unique. No cracks develop in it, making it impervious and more hygienic for daily use. Some of this pottery is semi-transparent and generally decorated with animal and bird motifs. Decorative items such as ashtrays, vases, coasters, small bowls and boxes for trinkets, are made using paste and fired at very low temperature.

Not readily available outside Bengal, out of interest to the visitor is the Mansa pottery of West Bengal. It represents the snake goddess and is a quaint, double curved pot with a face painted on it. Similarly the Dakshiniraj pots, found in the Sunderbans area, are round pots with mouth signifying a crown. An outlet of studio pottery is 'Valeries' in West Bengal, producing semi-handmade earthenware and glazed tableware in various and tones.

Related Links :

01. Shopping In India : Shopping Exotic Picks - 1
02. Shopping In India : Sharpen your bargaining skills - 2
03. Shopping In India : Carpets - 3
04. Shopping In India : Know Your Silk - 4
05. Shopping In India : Get your Banaras, Amru, Jamvar, Navrangi, Jamdani and Patola Silk - 5
06. Shopping In India : Paithani Silk, Chanderi Sari, Kosa Silk, Baluchari Sari, Tussar Silk, Sambalpuri, Maheshwari Sari of India - 6
07. Shopping In India : Know your cotton - 7
08. Shopping In India : Indian Handicrafts - 8
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