The potters’ village of Gundiyali in Kutch, Gujarat is well known for a beautiful and unique terracotta craft of India. The painted pottery of this village is distinct for its deep red shade, smooth finish and the painting work done of the surface of the pottery.
Rare craft forms often become a link of faith between the contemporary world we live in and the ancient civilizations. The painted pottery of Gundiyali takes us some 5,000 years back in history as the pottery produced here has an uncanny resemblance to earthen pots found in Harappan excavations. It is believed that the practitioners of this pottery tradition originally came from Sindh but as they travelled, their craft spread to different regions of Kutch as their successors settled there.
The story of Gundiyali, Kutch Painted Pottery is also the story of an illustrious craft tradition waging a courageous battle for its survival. There was a time when these shiny, unglazed, hand painted matkas (earthen pots) were so sought after that they were exported to countries like Africa and other foreign regions. Gundiyali’s proximity to Mandvi port, which a hub for foreign trade in the past, gave these master craftsmen an added advantage to make their wares available to craft connoisseurs across the world. But as the demand for terracotta products came down with time, the sales took a hit. Also, different kinds of taxing regulations came into place which made it almost impossible for these master potters to export their wares.
The process of producing Gundiyali pottery is long and complex and the potters are very particular about the steps they follow. The mud is sourced from a specific area of 5 acres, located at a distance of about 45 kms from the village. The mud is then ground and filtered several times to make sure stones, pebbles, etc get filtered out and it becomes fine enough for usage. It is then mixed with water for about 2-3 days till it becomes soft enough for shaping.
The floral motifs and geometrical patterns painted on the surface of Gundiyali pottery gives the products a rather dreamy and other worldly kind of look. The understated elegance of these masterpieces of the art and craft of pottery transports us to a different era altogether. All the colours for painting these pots are derived from natural sources. The bright red colour of the Gundiyali pots comes from Geru (a kind of soil ) and the colours for making those characteristic black and white stripes are also made of natural material.
The designs used by the potters are firmly rooted in their aesthetic sensibilities as well as the dynamics of their natural setting. With time, the potters of this sustainable craft of India have innovated their product range to suit the needs of the urban cosmopolitan buyer. But their production processes remain the same. They haven’t compromised on the core of their craft.
At Prosperity, we are delighted to introduce you to a stunning world of Gundiyali Terracotta Craft. Our products include hand painted serving bowls, terracotta trivets, Gundiyali painted water bottles, glasses, bowls, etc. Easy to clean and use, these eco-friendly products would certainly add the much needed rustic aura to your dining tables and living room space.