Origin: Playing with clay is believed to be the oldest industries - more than 10,000 years old. It is believed than men expressed his emotions with clay by crafting primitive deities on storage vessels. Religious manuscripts of vedic culture mentions ceramic pots. Upanishads talk about terracotta items such as bricks, water jars, cups, flower pots, vases etc. A large percentage of eminent historians agree to the fact that vedic age is older than the Nile, Rhine, Elbe and Indus Valley civilizations.
The ancient Indus valley civilization was well versed with pottery. The archaeological survey findings designate the concept of pottery work in India during 2600 BC- 300 AD (Lothal of Harappa Civilization- 2326 BC).
On the flip side, many historians believe that Egypt gave birth to pottery.
Present Day: The traditional pottery industry of Jharkhand has evolved from artisans dipping their hand in primitive technologies to adopting advanced technologies, inventions, designs and colours. Even the way they market their pottery has undergone major transformation. In the bygone era, the artisans crafted majorly domestic items such as jars of varied sizes. The buyers of these domestic pottery items was the village community.
Today, artisans craft a spectrum of products such as tiles, mosaic tiles, wall tiles, ceramic tiles etc. They have also started making Teracotta jewellery. Teracotta dinner sets and tea sets are a new addition to this line of crafts. Every year, during the festive season, craftsmen make terracotta animals, figurines and clay shrines
Procedure: Artisans create pottery with love, dedicated and patience. The common raw materials used are clay and clay slurry to keep everything together as a glue. All the raw materials are mixed together by potters to make dough. Dough is then rolled and flattened to the form of a 4-5 mm thick ‘Chapatti’(pancake) which is then put into moulds with a mixture of fine ‘Bajri’(stones) and ‘Raakh’ (ash made from burnt wood).
Then, the item is removed from the mould and is left to dry. The pottery item is then cleaned and shaped, is rubbed with sandpaper to polish the surface. It is then dipped in a mixture of quartz powder, powdered glass, edible flour (maida) and water and dried. The main shape and the pot is created by the men. Once it’s dried, village women use red, black, and white clay-based paints to decorate each piece of pottery. Once again it’s dried in sun. Post this it’s baked in a furnace.
Bring Home Pottery of Jharkand: Halt at craft shops and pick up these stunning pottery pieces.