When the world was in a semi-cultured state, India was on the growth of commerce and manufacturing. Industries, especially handicrafts were the prime priority in ancient India’s social life. India’s past has been industrially glorious. The traditional textile and non-textile objects and products were major part of Indian daily utility as well as exports that hugely contributed to GDP of India. The unexpected evolution in the science and technology sector has transformed India’s traditional pottery making into advanced ceramic.
The handicraft production and art is considered to be the second largest employment provider while unorganized industry after farming in India. Amongst other traditional arts, pottery is quite an important heritage skill not just as a creative occupation but contributed to sustainable living in many different ways. Pottery plays an important role in studying culture and reconstructing the past. Historically with distinct culture, the style of pottery changed; it reflects the social, economic and environmental conditions a culture thrived in.
The soft power of India amongst others is the heritage art skill and knowledge which is very much ignored in the name of development today. Most traditional knowledge was and is given to next generation in non-formal way. This has resulted into a great damage to the country when in the present day the younger generation is not learning the traditional arts and crafts; we are losing the treasure quickly which is to be an urgent focus in entire India.
The contemporary societies are quite different from their past predecessors and there exists very little one-to-one relationship between the present and past societies. Conventionally mostly in every community the traditional knowledge was inherited from generation to generation though their traditional occupation and so is the case in Traditional Pottery. Presently Indian pottery industry is suffering from irregular supply of raw materials, lack of working capital, use of old obsolete technology, quality improvement, lack of good marketing facilities, and lack of management problems, etc. Owing to this a large section of the Kumbhar community, which is traditionally making pottery, has drifted towards other means of income opportunities
The pottery and clay art forms in India are as diverse at its communities. The communities practiced pottery in India is generally called Kumhars in most of the parts of India. Etymologically, all these names have been derived from the original Sanskrit word Kumbhakara, the ‘pot maker.’ The main stages of potter making can be divide in to three‐ procurement of raw material, preparation of clay, vessel forming and firing. Pottery wares have played a very important role in the lives of man from the remote past. In the ancient times, pinching, coiling and the wheel were the three methods used for making a pot; to which casting – the fourth method has been introduced by the potters. Every region in India has its own distinct style, materials and process of production for making utility products, artistic and ritualistic objects. The artisans living in the traditional societies are normally influenced by their environment as well as by their myths, legends, rituals, ceremonies, festivals, social organizations and cultural norms which are reflected in their creations.
Gujarat is one of the leading traditional pottery making and ceramic centers of India. Morbi is famous for its ceramic industry. 70% of India’s gross ceramic productions are produced in this region. Moreover, the region also meets 5% of the world’s ceramic requirement. The main products are wall tiles, floor tiles, vitrified tiles, and sanitary ware. The cluster commands about 70% of the market share of these ceramic products.
aadhar’s work-base in Gujarat and with founder’s connection with traditional pottery community one of the major subject to research and document is Traditional Pottery. The resource is expected to be share with public through a living museum and community space.
Along with our own study and data collection of traditional potter’s services we also provide services to research and documentation of pottery for different parts of India.
The VARIA name refers to a line of traditional potters in the Indian state of Gujarat. The Varia potters are located in the north-eastern part of Gujarat in Dahod, Kheda, Panchmahal, Vadodara and Zabua districts.
A research and documentation process of this community is ongoing, alongside we are helping for product quality improvement and to market the products made by potters.
12 May 2011
- Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester.Location