Originating from Persia, Blue Pottery is the only
pottery in the world that doesn't use clay. It appears
semi-translucent or opaque and is used to make a variety of
traditional and contemporary objects ranging from a variety
of surahius (pots) to tiles, lamp shades, and other
home accessories. Traditionally, designs were always blue or
greenish blue on a white base depicting floral, animal, or
arabeque designs. Today, yellow, dark blue, and brown have
been added to the palette.
Who practices this craft?
Rajasthan: Jaipur; Delhi; Punjab: Amritsar; Uttar
Pradesh: Khurja, Chunar, Rampur; Tamil Nadu: Karigari. The
craft is mainly practiced by Khaarwaal, Kumbars, Bahairva,
and Nat castes.
What materials and tools are used in this craft?
Tools: Chakki (Grinding Machine),
Moulds, Flattening Tool, Sand Paper, Iron Knife, Base Stone,
Broom, Potters Wheel, Brushes, Heating Kiln;
Materials: Ground Quartz Stone, Glass,
Katira Gond, Maida (Edible Flour), Multaani Mitti (Fuller's
Earth), Saaji, Flour, Colors (Oxide or Ferro), Suhaaga
(Borex), Zinc Oxide, Potassium Nitrate and Boric Acid,
What is the Craft process?
Preparation of Dough
The dough is prepared by mixing 6 ingredients: quartz
stone powder, powdered glass, Katira Gond powder,
Multaani Mitti, and Saaji, and water. The
dough must then rest for 8-10 hours.
A small amount of dough is rolled and cut into equal parts.
A portion is put into the mould and shaken slightly. A
mixture of bajri (stones) and raakh (burnt
wood dust) is put in the mould and lightly pressed. The
mould is turned upside down and removed and the dough is
left to dry in this shape for 1-2 days. The raakh
and bajri mix is removed with the help of a locally
made husk broom.
Preparing the Surface
The form is rubbed on the base stone to even out the edges.
If the craft person is making a vessel, then a base is made
on a potter's wheel and added to the form. It is left to dry
for another 1-2 days. Next, the form is rubbed with a
mixture of dough and water 2-3 times. After it dries it is
rubbed with sandpaper. The form is then dipped into a
mixture of quartz powder, powdered glass, maida,
and water and left to dry.
Designing the Surface
A solution of cobalt oxide and edible gum is used to make
the design while the form sits on the potter’s wheel.
Turning the wheel while applying the brush tip allows for
smooth rings to be painted. Other designs are made using
various brushes and brush strokes. Once the design is
complete, various metal oxides are applied to create color.
The form is again left to dry. A mixture of glaze is
prepared with powdered glass, suhaaga (borex), zinc
oxide, potassium nitrate, and boric acid and heated in the
kiln until it melts. Upon cooling the mixture is ground into
a powder and mixed with water and maida. The
solution is coated onto the form.
Finally, the forms are fired in the kiln for 4-5 hours,
making sure not to touch other objects in the kiln or
they will turn black. All except 80 percent of the
quartz melts away. The form is cooled for three days. It
takes 10-12 days for one piece of pottery to be
Producer Groups practicing Blue Pottery
Product categories made with Blue Pottery
Decore, Lighting, Table, Garden, Storage, Desk
Blue Pottery Extended Documentation