'Art is in the most deplorable condition in India' craftsmen struggle to continue traditional Jaipur blue pottery

In the 19th century, during the reign of Sawai Ram Singh II, blue pottery made its entry in Rajasthan. The name 'blue pottery' derives from the eye-catching blue dye that is used to colour it.

Published: 17th December 2018 08:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th December 2018 08:45 AM   |  A+A-

Turko-Persian in origin, ‘blue pottery’ is widely acknowledged as a traditional craft in Jaipur. (Photo: Twitter/Rajasthan Tourism)


JAIPUR: "Who value artists in India? Art is in the most deplorable condition here in our country" claimed Durgesh Doraya, the 10th generation who is carrying forward the traditional craft of pink city - the Jaipur blue pottery.

Since last 10 years, traditional Jaipur blue pottery, which is geographical indication tagged product has been witnessing a sharp decline in the market because customers prefer ceramic products which are cheap in terms of price as compared to the stone.

In the 19th century, during the reign of Sawai Ram Singh II, blue pottery made its entry in Rajasthan. The name 'blue pottery' derives from the eye-catching blue dye that is used to colour it.

A blend of powdered quartz stone, powdered glass, fuller's earth borax, gum and water is mixed together to create a dough and later glazed and baked in low fire. Due to its brittle nature, this pottery art incur 50 to 60 per cent loss while making.

Distinguished guests from all across the world including former United States president Bill Clinton, his wife and former first lady Hillary Clinton, actor Richard Gere have visited the National Award winner in Blue Pottery, Anil Doraya and appreciated him.

"Indian art is valued abroad but our Indian government needs to value it first and at the earliest. If the government does not take proper measures then as this many other arts will soon come to extinction. However, I will not let such an ancient and extremely vibrant art form to go from languishing to extinct," Doraya said.

Earlier this art was widely popular and many villages, especially within the periphery of Jaipur, used to earn their livelihood through this trade. However, today not more than 10 families continue this hand dying handcraft.

"Artists are getting older and the new generation does not want to continue with blue pottery as it does not generate money. Moreover, this art form is wrongly categorised in ceramic whereas it is a stone product "Doraya added.

He further said, "The government should make a scope for research and development workshops on blue pottery and many more arts that are heading towards extinction."

The traditional technique of blue pottery requires sun rays for which no work can be done during the rainy season. "We need to earn money and that is why we have started painting on kettles and lantern so that our work does not stop. We cannot shift to the electric furnace as it has iron and magnesium which damage the product. We have to do this for our survival," another craftsman Ganesh Lal said.

The artisans complain of unavailability of proper tools and subsidy by the government. They have also started introducing new designs and started making microwave bowls and dishes for the survival purpose. 


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