Pottery in the Indian subcontinent has an ancient history and is one of the most tangible and iconic elements of regional art, among all the places Alwar district of Rajasthan is much known for its pottery and one of their very famous potteries is the Kagzi Pottery, the name itself describes us about the art, the piece is made up of a very paper thin layer of clay. The Kagzi Pottery comes under the unglazed form of pottery and is the oldest form of pottery in Rajasthan.
The tradition of pottery-making in India is very old, therefore the roots of this pottery is etched from a primitive era. The ancient pottery of a country tells a lot about its civilization, for thousands of year’s pottery has been an important form of expression. India has a great tradition of kagzi pottery making. The real beginning of this pottery began with the Indus Valley Civilization. There were proofs found that this pottery is in force since the Indus Valley civilization.
There are three distinct styles of this form.
• First is the simple paper thin biscuit color pottery
• The second variety is more elaborate and sophisticated in style. To create intricate patterns, the pottery is polished and painted with white and red slips. The outline of the design is incised. This technique is called scraffito and it reveals the ground color.
• The third variety is very unique in its treatment; in this form, a very fine and highly polished pottery is decorated with strong, deeply incised, stylized patterns of arabesques. The remaining area is painted with rows and black dots. The contrast in color and pattern bring out the incised area adding to the charm of the pottery.
This is a very skilled pottery form where you need a lot of experience, patience, and never-ending hard work. Even though this form of pottery is well known amongst many, it is very rare to find people who are engaged in this pottery due to the rapid change in the culture of art. Now there are very few potters left who still practice this form.