An Ode To Blue Pottery – Guest Post

The Art and Craft of Rajasthan Art is held in high esteem throughout the world. Marble sculpture or miniature paintings or frescoes – each art for has had it’s own significance throughout the ages. Creativity and artistic skills of the people of Rajasthan are acknowledged all over the world. I am passionate about one such Art ‘ The Art of Blue Pottery‘. Not many 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 is 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 blue Persian colour used to dye the ceramic. Even though Blue Pottery is blue, in recent times more and more colours like green, turquoise, brown, yellow are coming into use.

The Process

The dough used as raw material for Blue Pottery 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 moulds. The dough is pressed into moulds which are turned over such that the dough acquires the shape 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 and decoration wherein various kinds of animal or flower motifs are drawn on the pottery 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 and then left to cool down. Small stone like deposits formed on the pottery during the cooling process are further crushed and mixed with water and maida. Finally, the prepared products are heated in the closed kiln fueled with charcoal, at temperatures of 800 to 850 degrees Celsius.

Origin and Evolution

The craft of Blue Pottery 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, in the 19th century in Rajashtan. Places of historical significance such as the Rambagh Palace have retained specimens of Blue Pottery. Though the trend of Blue Pottery saw a downturn by 1950s, it was revived by various art patrons, especially due to the efforts of muralist Kripal Singh Shekhawat, in Jaipur. Currently, a thriving Blue Pottery industry that exists in Jaipur supports indigenous artisans.

Little Spells Blue Pottery ‘WALL FLOWER COLLECTION’

At Little Spells we met and partnered with master artisans across the country blending our modern style and designs 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 fruit motifs. These stylish wall accents using
nature based motifs are a great way to add colour and elegance to your home decor

If you’d like to bring home our elegant hand-crafted Blue Pottery plates check them out at our shop and
bring home the magic! 

Guest Post by Barsha Sharma of Little Spells…

Barsha Sharma of Little Spells

A brief about the author in her own words – “I like pieces/anything that has a history and a good story! I am in love with books, vintage photography, flea markets and gardening. I also enjoy cooking, to the point of getting obsessed with food blogs, and to think cooking shows are a great background noise. I enjoy travelling; being in a new place, especially near the mountains, is amazing. Little Spells is my way of sharing these stories and products with you.” Barsha Sharma, Little Spells.  

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