The Art of Shaping and Baking
Pottery making in India is equally famous as any other form of craft and handicraft. The tradition of pottery making is very old and still popular. For many of the Indian households pottery making is an art, which is passed onto next generation and the sole source of income to get their bread and butter for the family. The pottery has played an important role in the civilization of a country. The ancient pieces of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa were such two civilizations, which vanished and discovered in 1920’s. The traces of the civilizations were found in the form of pieces of the pottery used in that era.
Pottery speaks a lot about the civilization and growth of the country. In ancient times, pottery was a medium through which men expressed his feelings and emotions. Not many of us know that the shape and color of the pottery carries a visual message.
In India, being an agricultural country, pottery was majorly used for storing water, wheat, rice and grains. The tradition of making pottery is more than century old and has strong imprints in Indian history. The pottery making in India first started during Indus Valley Civilization. The art of baking clay and shaping it in different forms of pottery & earthenware started from then. Since then it is been transferred from generations to generations. In Harappan civilization, the potters had an important role to play in society. In that era the use of pottery and earthenware was well advanced, it was used as oven and for firing products, cooking etc.
Today, pottery making is developed as an art. However, pottery and earthenware still used for storing purpose in rural areas whereas in urban areas they have become decorative pieces and another form of it, porcelain and studio pottery, has evolved as an art.
Indian pottery is both, hand made and wheel made and is common all over India with a little touch of regional variation. The potter occupies a unique position in the craft traditions of India. India is home to more than a million potters. The potters are wonderful masters of their trade.