The Pottery Of India
The origin of Indian pottery goes back to the Indus Valley civilization. Due to the problems of transportation in the early days the potters came to the villages and set up shop on the outskirts. Usually this was a family enterprise, some of the pottery being created on wheels and some were handmade. After finding suitable soil they built their temporary kilns and produced and sold their wares before moving on to the next village. The pots were favored for water transportation and storage, grain storage along with cooking pots and storage for oil, beer, milk, and curd. Some of the grain storage pots were 10 ft high and 5 Ft wide earthenware.
Over time distinctive styles emerged in the different states of India. These days it seems every village in India has a resident potter ( known as a Khumbar ) and they usually work from home and have a remarkable collection of pottery ware to sell, usually displayed on the street in front of their houses.
The making of glazed pottery developed under the influence of the Arabs in India and the Mogul art inspired some of the designs.This occurred around the 12th century when the Muslim rulers encouraged potters from the middle east to settle in India. To this day pottery is utilized for a vast array of domestic, religious and special occasions. Painted pots for marriages, pots for Sanskrit seedling ceremonies, lamps for the” festival of lights”( diwali ), common earthenware, along with decorative pieces ( eg, vases , bowls ,teapots )
The bulk of Indian pottery is characterized by three main styles, black pottery, blue pottery and terracotta as well as the unglazed being divided into paper thin, scrafito and highly polished. In some parts of India the potters maintain a high status due to being involved in the production of deities for religious ceremonies, terracotta being the common medium. Terracotta horses of the height of 7 metres have been used in temples.
Indian Storage Pots
Mastercraftsman Harikrishan Kumbhar on pottery wheel
Kapaleeshwarar Temple Chennai (meandfrenchie.com)
Sona s Pottery
Pottery art market in Gujarat, India ( gypsygeek )
Painting pots in India
Indian women potters
Prince Andrew at the Kumbharwada-potters colony, Mumbai
Potter at work in the village of Gunupur, Orissa, India. Photo – Chris Lisle