Pink City, Blue Pottery
Of the many things that Jaipur is known for, Blue Pottery is quite an outlier in the sense that it definitely did not originate in Jaipur – rather, from the depths of the Turkian-Persian empires. Yet, it has widely come to be recognized as one of the “traditional” crafts of Jaipur – a fact that is a testament to both how much the craft owes its sustained relevance and legacy to the pink city, and how the craft, much like other traditional designs, has stood the very test of time itself.
When we say fragile, we really do mean fragile – for these items are often created from being low fired at very high temperatures – making them quite brittle. Typically, blue pottery today is used mostly for ornamental purposes – the vases, bowls, trays hardly aim to serve any practical purpose. But the intricate designs and patterns on these items – often inspired by the natural beauty of animals and birds, along with the rich colors is what makes blue pottery ornaments so sought after.
Another common misconception about blue pottery stems from the name itself – the term originated as a consequence of the rich, blue Persian dye that was used to dye the ceramic. While Jaipur’s blue pottery is mostly created from Egyptian paste, it is worth noting that the name stuck due to the potent presence of the color blue itself too – the color palette is limited, though white, yellow and even brown are often incorporate, though uncommon.
Blue pottery has managed to incorporate itself into the very soul of Jaipur, as is evident with the craft become a trademark of the city itself. Quite a few big and popular outlets exist that have become renowned for their quality, such as Neerja International and Kripal Kumbh. Both these outlets have come to be known as the premier places for buying authentic, genuine blue pottery products, as well as being able to provide a wide variety of said products.
The resilience of blue pottery is not only an impressive feat, but also manages to give one a lot of hope for not just the preservation of traditional arts and crafts, but also the resurgence of their popularity. The humble tradition of blue pottery has withstood quite a few challenges, including the biggest one – that of time. Yet, the craft lives on, and its wake manages to provide and sustain the livelihood of thousands of skilled people. So, the next time you see one of these exquisite items – be it at a friend’s house, or at an elaborate showroom – pause, and bask in the presence of one of the guardians of culture, and a silent witness of time itself.