Black Pottery Azamgarh
Nizamabad is a small village in the district of Azamgarh in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. This seemingly inconsequential village is home to a unique craft tradition of India that takes roots from the music of its soil, and the colourful and enchanting folklore of the region.
The river Tamsa slowly makes its way through lush green banks, its flowing waters whispering softly to many a traveller stories about the rich history of this region. It is believed that the Hindu God Rama and Goddess Sita and the famous sage Valmiki, amongst many others, have been somehow associated with this river.
The history of black pottery tradition of Nizamabad in Azamgarh, U.P., is as unique as the craft form itself. About 500 years back, a group of potters travelled here all the way from Gujarat and settled in the tiny village of Nizamabad, by the banks of Tamsa River. According to the local folklore of the region, a judge in the Mughal administration saw the distinctive black pottery craft practiced by the Prajapati community in Gujarat. Legend has it that he was so impressed by their craftsmanship that he patronized some artisans by making them settle in Uttar Pradesh. And this is how the black pottery tradition of Nizamabad started.
The potters take the clay from the nearby ponds which is then kneaded and beaten to a fine powder manually or using machines. The local soil has a lot of pebbles in it so the process of mixing the soil with water and filtering out the pebbles is long and arduous. But the texture of this clay and its high mica content are what make it uniquely suited for the style of black pottery that is produced here.
A unique feature of the process is that mustard oil is applied to the surface of the pottery before firing. This polishing is what gives Azamgarh black pottery its shiny, lustrous look. The designing part is usually handled by women who use a pointed needle to draw intricate floral patterns and geometric designs on the pottery.
The furnace for firing Azamgarh black pottery is specially designed keeping in mind the final look of the product. The oven or furnace is covered with cow dung cakes to ensure that the heat level remains optimal and oxygen doesn’t enter the furnace. The absence of oxygen while firing is what imparts the black colour to the pottery.
Once the pottery is out of the furnace, the carved design is filled in with a powdered mixture of mercury, lead and zinc, giving the Azamgarh black pottery its signature silver design.
At Prosperity, we bring to you a carefully curated collection of Azamgarh black pottery products. There are plenty of products to enhance the décor of your home including vases, lamps, lanterns, cups, bowls, etc. These beautiful black pottery products can instantly liven up your outdoor spaces like gardens and balconies. The shiny, black look of the products stands in nice contrast to the green of your plants, giving the whole space a stylish and eco-friendly look.