- Blue Pottery of Jaipur
The art of making "blue glaze
pottery" came to Rajasthanvia Kashmir, their entry point into India. The name comes from the eye-catching Persian blue dye used to color the clay. The Jaipurblue 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 bowlsand 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 yellowand brownare sometimes included.
The use of blue glaze on pottery made from
Multani mitti, or Fuller’s earth,Dubious|date=March 2008 is an imported , first developed by Mongol artisanswho combined Chinese glazing technology with Persian decorative arts. This technique travelled south to India with early Muslimpotentates in the 14th century. During its infancy, it was used to make tilesto decorate mosques, tombsand palacesin Central Asia.
Mughalsbegan using them in India to mimictheir structures from beyond the mountains in Samarkand. Gradually the blue glaze technique grew beyond an architectural accessory to Kashmiri potters. From there, the technique traveled to the plains of Delhiand in the 17th century went to Jaipur. The rulers of Jaipur were partial to blue-glazed ware, and many marble halls in Rambagh Palacehave fountains lined with blue tiles. These tiles were also used in the building of the city of Jaipur, but they disappeared soon after.
The revival of tile-making began in the late 19th century, and Jaipur became the centre of a thriving industry producing blueware. The traditional Persian designs have now been adapted to please a more sophisticated clientele. Apart from the usual
urns, jars, potsand vases, you can now find find tea sets, cups and saucers, platesand glasses, jugs, ashtrays and napkinrings. One can spot blue pottery being made at Sanganer, not far from Jaipur, and also within the city at Kripal Kumbh, Shiva Marg.
Kripal Singh Shekhawat
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.