The elegant blue pottery is a well-recognized part of the state’s arts and craft. Though the art itself has originated in Persia, it has now become synonymous to Jaipur, where thousands of people are engaged in the art having made it their primary source of livelihood.
The earliest example of similar art comes from Mongolia. The artists there have combined glazing technology of China with the decorative arts of Persia. The technique thus developed travelled east towards India in 14th century. In India, it existed for almost three centuries in central India, from where it finally reached Rajasthan in 17th century.
In this state, where there was no dearth of elite patrons of arts, blue pottery flourished to its maximum bloom. By 19th century, Jaipur become the major hub for the blue pottery artists. The other places where the art found resort are Mahalan, Neota, and Sanganer.
The fascination of blue pottery comes from the contrasting color combination; graceful motifs designed in lustrous royal blue on pure white background create an undeniable compulsion for the viewers to gaze and appreciate them.
Considering that blue pottery is a traditional art of Jaipur, it is surprising to note that no clay is used in the art. The blue pottery artifacts are completely made of a mixture of powdered glass, fuller’s earth, borax, soda bicarbonate, gum, water, and quartz stone powder.
The brilliant blue color is created using crude copper oxide, mixed with sugar or salt. The mixture is then heated in furnace. Though most of the time the hue of blue color is managed by customizing the amount of copper oxide, a particular shade of dark ultramarine is developed using cobalt oxide.
Thus created paint is then used to create graceful patterns, and motifs on the basic white artifacts. To strengthen the color, remove the impurities, and bring the expected shine, the final products are heated in kiln at over 800 degrees Celsius. With so much going into the process of making, it doesn’t come as a surprise why the art has gathering such a large following since its inception.