The Art of Blue Pottery and Its Traditional Techniques

The Art of Blue Pottery and Its Traditional Techniques

The Art of Blue Pottery and Its Traditional Techniques

There’s something special, unique and endearing about Blue Pottery that sets it apart from other pottery styles. That signature rich deep blue in attractive designs, instantly captures the heart and the eye, be it on crockery, drinkware, serve-ware, vases, or artefacts. Even the digital world has sort to take this memorable art form further, introducing digital printing of blue pottery designs on cloth, thus widening its horizon and reach. This blog launches out on an exciting journey to discover more about the timeless Art of Blue Pottery.

A Peek into its Origins

Let’s understand a little about the origins and history of this distinctive art form.

Said to have its roots in Persia, the Persian artisans have been credited with introducing it to India, way back in the 18th century, during the Mughal era. Some also attribute Turkish influences on this art, making it a rich fusion of Persian, Turkish, and Indian cultures. While Jaipur in Rajasthan became its epicentre in India, its vibrant colour and designs came to be appreciated across the country, and even on the global arena. This special art has been preserved and passed down the centuries, with artisans in each generation further refining and propagating it, making it stay high on the popularity charts to this day!

Dissecting the Art of Blue Pottery

The next stop on our discovery route is to understand what goes into making Blue Pottery. Going to the basics, let’s uncover the material used for making Blue Pottery, which include the following:

  • Quartz Stone Powder is the key ingredient that distinguishes Blue Pottery from others which are generally clay-based.
  • Glass Powder is combined with the quartz powder for the base material, and is also used for the glazing solution.
  • Fuller's Earth (Multani Mitti) is what’s used to bind the mixture.
  • Soda Bicarbonate (Sajji) and Katira Gond (a natural gum) are added to improve the attributes of the mixture.
  • Borax, Zinc, Potassium Nitrate, and Boric Acid are used along with powdered glass for the glazing solution.
  • Cobalt Oxide Blue Dye is the secret behind the signature blue of Blue Pottery.

The Making of Blue Pottery Handicrafts

We come to the highlight of our discovery tour – the fascinating traditional art of meticulously crafting Blue Pottery, via various painstaking processes.

1. Preparation of the Mixture

Quartz Stone and Glass are finely powdered and mixed together with Fuller’s Earth, Soda Bicarbonate, natural gum, and water, to form a smooth paste that forms into a non-sticky dough, which is the base material for the other processes.

2. Shaping and Moulding

The next step defines the future of each lot of dough, which is moulded into the desired shape, either by hand, or by spreading it into moulds. Each piece is given the required time to be well formed and then left to slowly dry, to prevent cracks.

3. Beautification

The dried handicrafts are then adorned by skilled artisans, who painstakingly hand-paint intricate patterns using natural dyes, to give each item their characteristic colour and design. Although cobalt blue is the most popular dye, artisans also experiment with green, yellow, and brown. The beautiful designs can be traditional motifs like floral patterns, animals and other natural life-like depictions, or even geometric designs.

4. Glazing

If you are wondering about the glossy finish that gives blue pottery an added touch of class, here it comes: The painted pieces are then dipped into a glaze solution. A mixture of finely powdered glass, borax, zinc oxide, potassium nitrate, and boric acid, are heated at high temperature and then put in cold water to cool, where it splinters. The splinters are then ground and mixed with water to form the glaze solution. It’s important that the coating is evenly done. While a thick coat gives a matte finish, a very thin coat leaves pores exposed.

5. Firing

The final step involves firing the glazed pieces in a kiln at relatively low temperatures (around 800-850 degrees Celsius), to ensure that the glaze adheres well on the pottery, and bestows an enduring glossy finish.

Modern Adaptations

It’s important to preserve these traditional art forms and perpetuate them for future generations too. Hence, recent times have seen adaptations of Blue Pottery to meet the tastes and demands of modern markets. Artisans use their skills and creativity to add new designs, forms, and colours, to preserve and expand the scope of their traditional techniques. Governments, Non-profit Organizations, and others, are doing their part to support traditional Blue Pottery craftsmen, to ensure their skills live on, and become a profitable occupation to follow and hand down to future generations. In a bid to keep the art alive and introduce it to a wider audience, workshops, exhibitions, and educational programs are also organized from time to time.

The Online Bombay Store – Timeless Traditional Handicrafts, Technologically Perpetuated.

The Bombay Store too believes in propagating the rich Art of Blue Pottery and putting these skilled Indian craftsmen on the global stage. Hence, we showcase their beautiful handicrafts on our website, presenting them to a world-wide audience, offering them the choice of making these fascinating handicrafts their own, at a click of a button, from the comfort of their homes. Check out our beautiful Blue Pottery Tableware and Drinkware – Coffee Mugs, Trays of different sizes, and Coasters with Holder. You can choose from the signature cobalt blue or the contemporary colours of turquoise blue, yellow, and green, all sporting attractive blue pottery designs.

 As mentioned earlier, these traditional art designs have also captured the attention of the digital world, with digital printing bestowing blue pottery designs and colours – on cloth too. You can take your pick here too, from our Blue Pottery Digital Printed Umbrellas – a lively addition to your monsoon collection.

Visit our website, and be amazed by the variety of skills that have been passed down through the generations from across our country. Many of these exquisite handicrafts enjoy the versatility of being beautiful display pieces, as well as functional marvels. Review our wide range of impressive handicrafts – intricate wall décor items, artefacts, home décor items, handicraft gift items, wooden decorative items, wooden handicraft items, attractive glass works of art, sculpted masterpieces in marble, stone, brass, copper, silver, and other metals. Tastefully decorate your home with the creative skills of our Indian craftsmen, and be proud of doing your part to perpetuate their centuries old art forms – and their livelihood. The Online Bombay Store is where tradition and modernity meet, to bring you these timeless evergreen creations, and virtually connect you to their creators.