Thursday, February 25, 2016

Aurea Blue Pottery

As promised, am back with a feature on an enterprise that specializes in Blue Pottery from Jaipur.The last two posts on Pottery was like a prelude to this wonderful organisation that deals in an art which is the oldest yet so mesmerizing!

Aurea Blue Pottery is a socially motivated enterprise established with the aim of reviving the traditional art of Jaipur's Blue Pottery and providing livelihood to craftsmen. Their elegantly styled product range comprises of unique souvenirs including home decor accessories, office and desk accessories and premium gifts.

Aurea as the name suggests is unique...Very Individualistic and splendid in its creation.Fine craftsmanship and the striking design really left me spell bound.

Pretty planters from Aurea Blue Pottery

If you have not read my earlier post on Blue Pottery, read it here. Aurea Blue Pottery takes pride in the fact that every piece is  hand painted and is clearly a labor of love.The distinct blue colour makes every piece stand out. After the extensive process of giving a final form and shape to each piece, the designs are painted with precision and mind you, it is free hand! The transparent glaze and firing in the furnace finishes the product.

Let me 'show off' two of the planters, that adorns my green space .Will truly cherish these beauties knowing that these were laboriously hand crafted by skilled artisans.

For all the green thumbs  and garden enthusiasts out there,these planters are a must have.Would love to have a collection of the lovely planters in different designs and yes, a limited range of planters in olive green & black colour is also available.

Ms Roopal , the founder and designer behind Aurea lays emphasis on customer satisfaction which was rightfully established when my products were delivered safe and on time.

The challenge with such unique craft forms and organisations engaged in this art is that, they have to keep up with the modern times and sustain their handmade products amidst mass produced items.
Aurea Blue Pottery makes sure that the designs are suitable for modern homes and meets all required standards.Marketing efforts are also channelized such that the enchanting pieces meet the discerning eye.

Next time you are in Jaipur, do not forget to visit their outlet at:

Aurea Blue Pottery

Office: K-10, Laxman Path, Shyam Nagar, Jaipur (Rajasthan, INDIA)
Retail Store: Hotel Rangoli, M.I. Road, Jaipur (Rajasthan, INDIA)
Contact: +91 98295 70227

You can also order Aurea Blue Pottery through their Facebook page or their website.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The art of making Pottery (Part II)

In our last post we discussed the basic form of pottery making & had a walk with Pooja Subramanian through the lanes of Kumbharwada.If you missed  this post, read it here.

This form of art, of molding clay into various shapes, includes various styles of pottery. Glazed and unglazed pottery, terracotta and Wikipedia even  includes Papier Mache  under the various styles of pottery making.Never knew that!

Let me give you a detailed description of Terracotta and Blue Pottery in this post.Both the styles are very close to my heart and the versatility of this art will sure leave you amazed!


Terracotta is ideally a type of fired clay, typically of a brownish-red colour and unglazed, used as an ornamental building material and in modelling. The term Terra cotta is derived from Italian phrase which means baked Earth. It is the art of lending enchanting shapes to clay and then firing them at the right temperature to make them stiff and strong

Crafting an object from terracotta includes several stages such as clay purifying, idol or sculpture making, drying and baking. Some sharp edged tools such as knives and blades are used to create pattern and decorations. Moulds are often used in idol sculpting.

The first step involves procuring the purified clay devoid of any impurities. The processed clay after purifying is soaked in water for 15 to 30 days to enhance the suppleness and also to avoid cracks and damages during firing process. This gives the clay products a special characteristic and unique identity for its supple texture and rich natural red color.

Now according to the requirement of the finished products, the product is either handmade as in case of idols and jewelry or the potter’s wheel run by electricity is used to make pots, bowls, huge containers etc.

Drying is a very crucial step after which necessary embellishments and colours are added. In case of household utilities, these items have to be baked at high temperatures in the kiln to make them hard and resistant.

A very remarkable feature in Terracotta is that it uses all the five elements namely fire,water, earth, Air & ether. It is a process that requires precision, skill and the judgement to finish the products at the right temperature.

Drying is a very crucial step after which necessary embellishments and colours are added. In case of household utilities, these items have to be baked at high temperatures in the kiln to make them hard and resistant.

A very remarkable feature in Terracotta is that it uses all the five elements namely fire,water, earth, Air & ether. It is a process that requires precision, skill and the judgement to finish the products at the right temperature.

Bankura horses of Bishnupur, West Bengal are the finest example of Terracotta art.These are a part of a 300 yr. old tradition, specifically considered for village rituals; they have now gained popularity and access into the Indian living rooms. They are known for their symmetric shape and rounded curves given to their body.The Bankura horse has distinctive unique features set apart by the long ears, stout body, small tail, long neck and intricate decorations carved on them. It is believed that the four legs, the full neck in two parts and the face (seven pieces in all) are turned out separately on the wheel for the horse and later joined by hand.

Let me also take you through some fascinating Architectural wonders made of Terracotta  that are significant in history.

Pinterest Image

These astonishing images are from the temples and mosques in and around West Bengal.The temples were built during 16th and 19th Century.All along due to Islamic influence, geometric patterns and designs were created on the panels.With time Bengali artisans too contributed towards the ornamental designs derived from folk art.Thus a unique distinctive style emerged.
These designs speak of excellent craftsmanship and forces you to ponder that something as basic as mud or earth can be transformed into a masterpiece!

Blue Pottery:

Image: Pinterest

Although it originated in ancient Persia, the art of blue pottery was brought to the craftsmen of Jaipur in the early 18th century. Blue pottery derives its name from the distinct use of Persian blue colour. Indeed, the precise hand-painting under a transparent glazed surface, makes blue pottery stand out; but there is lot more to blue pottery than what meets the eye. It is the only form of pottery in the world which is made without the use of natural clay or mud. Instead, a special combination of powdered quartz, glass pieces and other minerals is used to make the clay-like mixture for making blue pottery. Our skilled crafts-men make molds out of Plaster-of-paris, and press this clay like mixture in the molds to get the basic shape of an item. This basic form is usually made in two or three parts depending on the complexity of the shape of the product. Once the parts are dried, they are joined together with the clay, and then rigorously rubbed with sand-paper to get a uniform smooth surface. But before the surface can be painted upon, it has to be further treated with a quartz based coating to get paper-like finish. Then the craftsmen draw and paint on the surface with free-hand patterns. The item is then coated with a transparent glaze and dried, to make it ready for firing in a hand-built furnace. Interestingly, Jaipur’s blue pottery is also the only form of low-temperature glazed pottery which is made with a single firing process.

(Inputs about Blue Pottery gathered from  Designer Roopal. Watch out this space for more details on  this wonderful enterprise from Jaipur.) 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The art of pottery making.(Part I)

 Pottery is an age old art practiced in India.Well, who hasn't seen the potter's wheel?Almost every Indian village, you will find one! Indus valley civilization and the remnants discovered from the archaeological sites of Harappa and Mohen Jo Daro speak of its existence from time immemorial.

I am forever fascinated by those deft hands churning out such precious pieces.From earthen lamps and diyas to pots & pitchers to store water, pottery is ubiquitous.In Bangalore,there is a little town dedicated to these skillful artisans.Pottery town in Bangalore has once seen better days, though there are only a handful of them now.

One such place in Mumbai is Kumbharwada, 'kumbhar' meaning the potters...Let me take you through a photo-journey.


Rows and rows of earthen beauty! A look into the faces behind these...

These images put me into an introspective mode.These hands are blessed.Their art is so soulful.Don't you feel they deserve more than this. My humble request to all of you.Source your products directly from them.Let us try to build a better world for our artisans.

Photo Credit: Pooja Subramanian

Pooja is a finance professional in a multinational company.This does not deter her from following her passion of photography.

In her words," I believe that everything/everyone in the universe is constantly conversing with one another,which is what I strive to capture.Capturing expressions, capturing emotions and the "messages" that we are constantly giving away!"
 You may also contact her at

We will take a deeper look into this art form in our next post. So do watch out for the next one.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

A dreamy affair....

This is a photo-post...Nothing much to say other than dreaming to be in these awesome setting.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Travel Souvenir- J&K

It's time again to talk about  travel souvenir. We had been to Jammu long back but the small token that we carried from there still reminds me of the beautiful trip we had! That's the thing about souvenirs.They let you travel back in time.

Have you heard of Namdah?

Namdahs are basically chain stitch rugs. They are very popular because they are affordable and not only as a rug, they are even used as a wall covering, sofa backs and mats. The base of these rugs is called Namdahs which is basically felted wool and cotton. These are produced in vibrant colours in varying shapes and sizes. Namdahs use the kind of hooks which are called ari instead of the traditional needle. The specialty of theses needles are they cover much more area than the usual ones in the same time and therefore economical to use.


Mostly with a white and creamish base, these are colourful, warm & stylish. They are available in various sizes as carpets,rugs and mats.Choose your pick.

Also sharing with you a piece on travel souvenir that  I recently wrote  on, which  is India’s premier destination for home design and d├ęcor.

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