A very early morning flight out from Kolkata got me to Jaipur by 7:00 am! I headed straight for the village of Blue Pottery, some 55 kms outside of Jaipur. The weather was perfect! Not hot and not humid but quite pleasant. I had connected with this artisan potter family in June when I had come on our first recee trip for DIMLI – Curated Craft Tours.
DIMLI is a new initiative Maka Maka is offering in collaboration with Starline Travels, which is a renowned and seasoned travel company, led by Cdr Krishnan, a great storyteller and treasure trove of knowledge. Through our Craft Tours of India, we hope to showcase the world of crafts and artisans that forms a rich fabric of what India is. This will also help support sustainability of artisans.
Vibrant, cute, fun, and creative blue pottery decor items were placed before me in this lovely home where I was greeted with smiles and a cup of steaming Rajasthani Masala Chai!! Door knobs, incense stick holders in the shape of a palm, little cute Turtles – all made using the unique technique of Blue Pottery!
The patriarchs in this artisan family were trained by Kripal Singh Shekhawat, the father of Blue Pottery. Kripal Singh is known to have been approached by Maharani Gayatri Devi and Kamala Devi Chattyopadhyay of Crafts Council, to revive Blue Pottery. A unique mixture of gypsum, quartz, glass and gum is used as the basis. The mixture is then cast into moulds of the products that they want to make, such as, wall plates, incense burners, vases, etc.
Once put in certain moulds, they are baked in the hot Rajasthan sun for a few days. Then the artisans paint various patterns on them and they are put in the kilns.
The brush used to paint the intricate and delicate patterns is made from hair from squirrels tail and feathers from pigeons. These brushes have to be specially made for this purpose only. Once the product comes out of the kiln, one can see the beautiful and vibrant colors of turquoise, navy, yellow, green come alive!
~ By Mitun Chakrabarti ( Guest Blogger)
About Mitun Chakrabarti
Mitun Chakrabarti is the Co-Founder and Designer of RAJBOORI, which is a luxury home Textiles Company based out of Vancouver, Canada. An MBA, Mitun had been working in corporate America for a decade when she decided to pursue entrepreneurial projects.
During her travels, Mitun explored many artisanal works, and visited some great concept stores around the world. She felt the need for a space of her own to showcase her designs and some hidden treasures which they had found during their travels and interactions. A passion for design and a strong penchant for entrepreneurship led to the birth of a theme store back home in Kolkata called MAKA MAKA (Meaning: Friends in Hawaii). This is a destination place, where one could also enjoy some delectable offerings in a Cafe, while enjoying the hospitality of the place.
Mitun is also an avid blogger.