Shaping traditional art into modern artifacts

We absolutely love the sweet smell and taste of cool water in earthen pots (matkas) quenching a dry throat in the hot summers. But do you know how these earthen pots are actually made? Do you wish to learn this art of pottery-one of the most beautiful inventions of our ancestors?

I will take you on a trip to Khavda village in Kutch where craftsmen for generations have been making earthen pots, so keep reading….

I was looking to do something fun and creative to spend the weekend on my Rann Utsav trip. So I decided totake a tour of the neighbourhood village and explore the local art-pottery making.

Khavda is a small town, less than an hour’s drive from Tent City. ‘Khavda’ pottery is a popular art form of the region. The origins of this art-form have been found in excavations at Harappa and Mohenjo Daro and many other ancient cities of Indus Valley Civilization, which existed about 5000 years ago. The process of pottery making involves many stages. The men usually do all the throwing job while the women take care of all the surface decoration and painting.

The process begins when the potter gets mud- ‘Rann ki mitti’ from a specific acre near the lake. This soft clay is shaped into a pot on a potter’s wheel and left to dry in shade. The women then use different clay-based paints of red, black, and white shades to decorate each pottery piece with distinct community-specific designs.   These pots are then cleaned and put in the sun to dry and then baked in a furnace. The terracotta pots of Khavda are distinct from the ones we may see elsewhere because of their painting and form.

After learning the process, I was ready to tap my artistic skills. After failing again and again and creating weird clay shapes, I finally managed to create a decent vase-like shape. With a dash of pride, I was about to place it on the ground and right at that moment, my brother snapped his fingers over my creation. My ceramic centrepiece was devastated. Sigh…!

Did you like this? Share it!