Just pottering about

Just pottering about

Rajasthani touch

Just pottering about

The fascinating long legacy of artistic work displayed by craftsmen in Rajasthan is exemplary. The lavish lifestyles of the maharajas of Rajasthan have provided patronage to the exotic arts and crafts here. Among notable forms of art, the artistic work of embellished pottery is undoubtedly marvelous!

Pottery comes in varied forms… they are antique in designs, at times gold painted with designs of clover and ivory with kundans to give it a dazzle, floral work studded and sometimes made on brass or marble and embellished with colourful mirrors. The history of these vivid pieces of art dates to the history of Raja Man Singh. When he ascended the throne of Amber in 1950, he invited to his city five enamel workers from Lahore.

Their art flourished under princely patronage and today this art of colourful pottery in Rajasthan is renowned the world over. Craftsmen work patiently in making beautiful tiny objects of ivory, stone, mirror, enamel, silver, wood, clay, marble and brassware carved so delicately that you would hardly think a human hand could do!

Each object here displays a style of its own. The themes used for this artistic work provide a deep insight into the culture of the state. Richly plumed peacock, bright foliage, elephants, camels, small ornamental figures and portraits of the ancient maharajas are beautifully carved on pottery. Apart from these, religious themes are also carved in stones all over the state.

Soft pink sandstone, yellow limestone, soft chlorite, copper-hued with green speckles are diverse stones used for making icons. Themes of flowering shrubs carry the imprint of Mughal printers who, during the reign of Jahangir and Shahjahan, specialised in making superb stylised drawings of flowering plants.

Blue pottery is handed down as a graceful traditional craft over the generations. Blue pottery is ultramarine designs on white surface. It is available in an astonishing variety of designs in the form of jars, pots, wall plates, jugs, mugs, vases and ash trays.

The chief colour combinations used for this are blue, green and white. Other combinations of canary yellow, dark blue and brown have also been evolved over the years. Pokharan produces enchanting shapes in pottery with geometrical designs etched into the surface.

The art of inlay used in pottery enhances the natural sheen of wood by juxtaposing it with other materials. It comes in multitudes of patterns. Some of the best pieces are hand-painted. It involves embedding ivory and varieties of metals and wood into a flat wooden surface. This craft is used to decorate chair-backs, table tops and smaller items like trinket boxes.

One can find the paper thin kazi pots flourishing the bazaars of Alwar. Especially, this craft displays a tremendous variety in designs that gives an insight into the historical and traditional splendour of this colourful region.Undoubtedly, Rajasthan is a repository of timeless crafts!

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