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POTTERY CRAFT OF DHARAVI MUMBAI CRAFT DOCUMENTATION


National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mumbai Master of Design (Design Space) 2015-2017

POTTERY CRAFT

OF DHARAVI

craft documentation of kumbharwada, dharavi


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The Potter and The Clay He took his seat, behind the wheel, And cupped his palm, to mould her right. She smiled and melt, in his touch so warm, Like the sunlit earth, post, a dark night. It seemed like a ball, when he turned her round, Caressed her skin and held her with love. They weren't two, but one pious soul, Like he was peace and she was dove. She bent in submission, at every pat, Surrendered herself, to his trusted will. She knew him all - he knew her all, Characters two, with egos - nil. The Potter and The Clay, we have them called, But that's a notion, far too narrow. Their story - profound; intense in effect, Like the Blind Cupid with his Love Arrow. Ima Iqbal

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Thank You We would like to thank the Kumbhars of Kumbharwada, Dharavi for cooperating with us by sharing their experiences and inviting us into their homes. We would also like the to thank various other people involved in pottery, such as sellers, studio potters, customers, and the residents of Dharavi, for showing us their studio and work. This document would not have been possible without their help.

Afsheel Devi Behen Hasmukh Hasmukh A. Hitesh Hussain Bhai Waghdi Jagdish Narsi Sheetal Vijay Usman Ganink

Abhay Pandit Ayub Brahmadeo Ram Pandit Sejal Sethi Sultana Khan Yashashri Tehelkar Yusuf Meherally Centre


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CONTENTS Foreword 2 Introduction 4 Ancient History 8 Pottery in India

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Kumbharwada 21 The Kumbhars 28 The Craft 41 The Market 75 Studio Pottery 87 Sustainable Intervention

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Glossary 105 References 106 Credits 107

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Foreword It has been a joyous experience to have visited Kumbharwada, a pottery cluster that has existed for over decades. The vibrant display of diyas spanning the long length of the main road of Kumbharwada is a common sight during the Diwali season. The craft that emanates out of Kumbharwada encompasses the influence of their ancestry, their lifestyle and most importantly, their love for the craft. The journey was as eye opening as it was mesmerizing. The small spaces, big hearts, and the smell of raw clay taking form was enchanting. This book has been a journey of unravelling the stories behind the craft of Kumbharwada. We have been enlightened and delighted by the recording of the craft throughout the whole week that was spent at the cluster understanding the craft; the hard work gone into it, the intricacy and accuracy that it is made with. Also, the courteousness and hospitality of the generous craftsman only made it more encouraging and a treasured experience. We respectfully dedicate this book to the Kumbhars, their wives, children, to our friends and family, and most importantly National Institute of Fashion Technology, Mumbai without support of which, this whole experience would not have been a reality.

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Introduction The four elements—earth, water, fire and air— nestle comfortably in the art of pottery. When this year, NIFT Mumbai chose Urban Crafts under the Craft Cluster component, we chose to uncover the aspects of this amalgamation of elements—the art of terracotta pottery. The ancient art of pottery initially found home in earthenware utensils and deities and the craftsmen to these is a community known as Kumbhar who mainly belong to the Hindu religion. Hindu mythology traces them to have being descended from the Prajapati, the son of Hindu God Brahma and are hence also referred to as Prajapati. Wrapped in years and years of history, handy works have been recovered by excavating old cities, giving hints about their continued craft from yug to yug. In Mumbai, pottery found its way through the migration of Kumbhars of Saurashtra, Gujarat to the Mahim bay area in Bombay around 1932, which later was given a name Khumbharwada, literally translating to ‘Home of the Potter.’ Presently, pottery faces competition from high demand of iron, steel and copper materials. In order to uncover the elements behind this art, we conducted research in Dharavi, Mumbai between 17 and 21 October 2016. Being a week before Diwali,

most production and sales were Diwali-related goods, hence the document covers mostly Diwali production and sales. We traced and documented the process of making terracotta pottery from sourcing clay to selling finished products. The intention of this research was to understand craft of pottery in an urban setting and how it can be sustained through design intervention. What we aimed to look at was the three pillars of sustainability—Planet, People, Profit. In between the magic of watching carefully created crafts from themselves with the heat of a kiln, this research was a peek into the lifestyles of Kumbhars in Dharavi, an understanding of how the craft production impacts the environment and society and uncovering of a significant question—is the craft able to sustain itself in the age of ‘dying’ handicrafts? The Craft Cluster Initiative of the Institute is a carefully developed formula for integrating the crafts sector of the country with the mainstream in the areas of design, management and technology. NIFT keeps in touch with India’s rich cultural, handicraft and handloom heritage, develops and implements craft cluster initiatives towards the overall progress of craft, the cottage industry and vocational activities. The intention of the project is to involve NIFT’s creativity in the areas of design, technology, marketing and management along with external expertise, and synergize all developmental activities by various government and non-government agencies.


A discarded manual potters' wheel collecting dust in Kumbharwada, Dharavi.


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Painted Gray Ware

Red Ware

Northern Black Polished Ware


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ANCIENT HISTORY Tracing the Origins of the Pottery Craft

The creation of clay objects has existed in India for well over 10,000 years, and may have travelled from here to Egypt, Mesopotamia and Babylon. Also, the laws of Manu, dating back to the sixth and ninth century BC, and the Rig Veda, the oldest of the Vedas, refer to the use of pottery. There are numerous references to earthenware specially painted pottery and terracotta figurines in the archaeological findings of pre-Harappan and postHarappan periods. Excavations at Mohenjodaro and Harappa, and clay objects found at the sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation, demonstrate the high quality of skill and technology that created the burnt bricks, statues, storing pots and seals made at that time. As far as India is concerned, the most ancient toys based on records, belong to the period of the Indus Valley Civilization, dating from 2500 to 1700 B.C. – toys that bear a surprising similarity to the handmade folk toys of a much later date. At the ancient sites of Harappa and MohenjoDaro terracotta toys have been found, representing human figurines, farm carts, cows, sheep, pigs, oxen, birds and animals, rattles, whistles, balls and kitchen utensils all pointing to a settled rural development. The pre Harappan pottery found at Kalibangan site in north Rajasthan is characterized by 'painted wires largely of the black on red variety'. Occasional use of white as another adjunct color occurs. The designs are largely geometric, though fauna and flora elements are found.

From the Harappan civilization, Lothal in Saurashtra and Mohenjodaro in Sindhh, a delightful range of Terracotta toys from whistles and rattles to animal figurines and dolls have been excavated. The pottery painted black on red includes 'fruit-stand with narrow tapering bases, beakers, pointed base jars, handled cups, jar stands, perforated cylindrical vessels in addition to the variety of vases, pans and plates'. The post Harappan sites in Punjab, Sind and the North West Frontier reveal pedestal-footed vessels and dish lids. They are handsomely painted with motifs that include human beings, plants, birds, bulls, fish all rather stiff and formal. Clay toys were used for religious purposes. They may play a part in fertility rites, ceremonies to ward of epidemics, for the purposes of exorcism. And in view of their fertility value, the figurines of the Mother and Child are the most popular of the clay folk toys in India. These nude figurines represent the goddess of fertility. A great deal of the present day painted pottery of Kutch in Gujarat and parts of Rajasthan reveals a striking resemblance to pieces found at the sites of the Indus Valley Civilization. However, it is very necessary to bear in mind that all the terracotta figurines unearthed at MohenjoDaro and Harappa may not have been meant to be used as playthings. They may have been cult objects, unlike in today’s scenario that started out for economical purposes.

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ETYMOLOGY

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pottery in india India has one million potters, more than any other country on earth, and their clay techniques have been handed down for generations. At the beginning of the new millennium the forces of industrialization and consumerism are beginning to encroach and bring changes to their lives. The idea of sophisticated glazing techniques never really developed, because the pot was considered a disposable object with no need for permanence. Glazing was brought to India during the Mughal rule and developed into the specialized pottery of Jaipur, Khurja and Chunar. Today, ceramics, European and Japanese glazing techniques, are a part of the very small studio pottery movement amongst the educated classes in the cities, who see it as an expression of an artistic need rather than a craft industry for the masses. The traditional potter, therefore, continues to produce utilitiarian and ritual objects, ranging from the delicate single wick oil lamp to terracotta storage jars for grain, oil, pickles and butter,

cooking pots for rice, milk and vegetables; griddles for thick and thin varieties of wheat bread; and votive figures, like ornamental horses and elephants; wall panels; ceremonial lamps and even entire temples. A new level of sophisticated decoration has been introduced in the past decade with the revival of age old shapes and styles for a wealthy clientele. The vast skill and repertoire of the Indian potter is to be seen in the special techniques and characteristics typical of the potters of different regions. Srinagar, the state of Jammu and Kashmir, has a special type of glazed pottery called Dal Gate pottery. Originally, glazes in deep green, blue, brown and ochre, were used on tiles for flooring, giving a rich, warm tonal effect. Later, as architectural styles changed, tiles were no longer used. Potters turned to producing tableware vases.


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Elephant Terracotta Diya Stand in the Dharavi Market


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More widely marketed are the chillums, the part of the hukka (tobacco pipe) where the fire is kindled. Rural pottery in Kashmir is bright and attractive, with cheerful glazes in tomato red, green and bright blue - sometimes decorated with flowers. Likir village in Ladakh, boasts of pottery which demonstrates the use of a variety of wooden palettes, to obtain different textures and shapes, and a wheel that dismantles totally after the work is done. A few villages in Haryana make earthen water pots called jhajari and surah, which are their main produce. They also produce hukkas, chillums, gullaks or coin banks, and handis. The larger vessels are decorated with embossed flowers and geometric borders. Bhuj town, in the region of Kutch, has a whole colony of potters producing a variety of pots for curd, cooking and serving. They also produce a range of miniature toys, tea kettles, bowls, grinding stones, furnaces, griddles and water containers – all less than three inches in diameter. Caparisoned elephants, bullocks and horses are moulded by hand as toys and festive objects. In tribal and other regions of Saurashtra, votive terracotta horses, elephants with riders, calves, goddesses and many highly imaginative forms of the elephant deity Ganesh, are moulded by hand.

The Traditional Tanjore Thalaiyatti Dolls from South India

The Rathava Tribes of Chota Udepur, mould a mixture of rice husk and clay over the convex side of a broken pot to form utensils of simple beauty, which is made more attractive by giving the inside portion of the bowl a coating of natural lac to produce a shiny and smooth surface. This increases its imperviousness. Botad village, in Bhavnagar district, has creative potters who mould clay whistles shaped like bird or fish. Clay bells strung together form melodious mobiles to hang above an infant’s

Traditional Kulhad used for drinking in India


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hammock. Clay buttons are a new innovation and show the versatility of the potters in keeping up with modern needs. Orissa and Madhya Pradesh have a charming tradition of decorative roof top tiles, made partly by hand moulding and partly on the wheel. Tiles, shaped like half tubes, have perched on them figures of elephants, monkeys, bears, reptiles, gods and goddesses. A decorative roof is a status symbol among the rural people of Sarguja, Raipur in Madhya Pradesh and Sambalpur in Orissa. The tribals of Jhabua, Madhya Pradesh, also combine both the thrown and hand moulded techniques to make votive figures of elephants and horses, distinctly recognizable by the gaping hole and the tubular central position of the body, to which are attached the hand moulded legs, trunks, ears and various ornamentation depending on the potter’s imagination. Lord Ganesha Idol being prepared for Ganesha Festival

Pottery Painting in Kolkata


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The terracotta tradition of creating figurines of deities on ceremonial and auspicious occasions, brings the ritualistic statues of the potter to the forefront. The image of Ganesh is made all over Maharashtra on His festival day, as is of Durga and Saraswati in West Bengal. In Tamil Nadu, the deity Aiyanar is worshipped in the gramadevta or village spirit tradition. A host of figurines are set up in forests under trees. Large horses (believed to be ridden by the Lord Aiyanar) with riders, figures of men, women and bullocks are offered to Lord Aiyanar to thank or ask for something of vital importance.

Blue Pottery from Jaipur

The 17th and 18th century AD saw the construction of temples with terracotta paneling in Birbhum and Murshidabd. Wall panels and plaques are a typical feature of West Bengal terracotta. The hand moulded terracotta plaques of Molela in Rajasthan, dedicated to the deity Dev Narayan, are characteristically shaped with a square base and a triangle top. The deity, with its snake symbol and attendant gods and goddesses, is moulded in hollow relief plaques in clay mixed with donkeydung. Gorakhpur potters make terracotta elephants and horses with the most

distinguishable features created through appliquĂŠd ornamentation in the shape of circles, chevrons, diamonds, stripes, wavy lines and ovals, which create a richly textured pattern of decoration. This is further highlighted by clay bells, leaves or droplets attached to the edge of the figures with wires. Figures of goddesses converted into ceremonial lamps, mother and child motifs and other objects are made for festive occasions. In the village of Nizamabad in Azamgarh district, is found a highly refined pottery made in deep black. It is dipped into a solution of clay and vegetable matter and rubbed with oil before double firing it in a


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sealed container. While the object is semidry, bamboo twigs are used to etch floral and geometric designs onto the surface. A powdered mixture of tin, lead and mercury is rubbed in and the surface further polished, until a silvery sheen highlights the lustrous black of the pot. The final effect is very much like the metalware of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka, and shows how high quality design and technical skill can elevate simple clay to the level of silver and other metals. Azamgarh pottery has unfortunately remained purely a decorative craft, as it is not strong enough for regular use.

Dausa, Rajasthan, makes the simplest and most aesthetically perfect forms of black pottery. The vessels for water and curd are porous, while the special containers for oil and ghee are polished to achieve a non-porous surface. In the small town of Hoskote near Bangalore in Karnataka, miniature black vessels replicating all the forms used in rural areas are sold in the bylanes as toys. Musical instruments, carts, bicycles, animals, birds, dolls, cooking vessels and puppets are also made by every Indian potter.

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The pottery of North-East, especially Manipur, is made by women and has unique characteristics. The women of Manipur, roll a band of clay to form a cylinder to which a base is attached after which they place a cloth on the neck of the pot, and mould it outside while moving around the stool on which the pot is placed. The pots are meticulously polished with smooth, flat stones before firing, till the pot attains a surface akin to high quality leather. The blacks and browns on the glossy surface of the beautifully rounded pots, render any need for decoration quite superfluous.

Black Pottery from Rajasthan


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pottery clusters These are the Craft Clusters of Pottery located across Indian states. There are over thirty listed Pottery Clusters in India where Pottery takes different forms and techniques. In Maharasthra there are two main clusters, one located in Aurangabad, Pune and the other in Dharavi, Mumbai.


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DELHI

UTTAMNAGAR- Prajapati colony GOVINDPURI HAUZ RANI- Kumbhar Basti

BIHAR

DARBHANGA TOWN- Maula ganj DUMKA EAST

UTTAR PRADESH

RAJASTHAN

BULANDSHEHAR- Khurja LUCKNOW- Chinhat ALLAHABAD GORAKHPUR- Nizamabad

SAWAI MADHOPUR POKHARAN UDAIPUR

GUJARAT BANASKANTHA VADODARA SURAT

WEST BENGAL

DADAR AND NAGAR HAVELI SILVASSA Vaghchippa Village

DARJEELING- Siliguri BIRBHUM- Shantiniketan, Bolpur BANKURA-Panchmura

MAHARASHTRA MUMBAI PUNE AURANGABAD

GOA

BICHOLIM, CALANGUTE

Andhra Pradesh

ORISSA

KORAPUT-Sambalpur

ANDHRA PRADESH Telangana

CHITTOOR- palemner, madanapalli

TAMIL NADU KARNATAKA MYSORE- KODAGU

AUROVILLE MADHURAI- pudukottai


Dharavi, Mumbai (Aerial View)


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Kumbharwada Pottery in Mumbai

Kumbharwada in Dharavi produces some beautiful pottery. Dharavi is a triangular area between Mahim creek to the north, western and harbor railway lines to the west and central railway line to the east. Most of the land is owned by the Municipal Corporation of greater Mumbai. Kumbharwada occupies 12.5 acres of prime property in Dharavi. It is located at the point where 90ft road meets 60ft road. Over 1000 potters work in this area including women with an average of 25 women in one block out of seven blocks only in 25 huts are for pots making and polishing in respective potter's house. Being the largest colony of potters, Kumbharwada swarms with people from different regions, each having their distinct cultures. It is the place for the potters to stay as well as work. 90% of the workers in the field of making pots are Gujaratis (Saurashtra, Jammnagar, Junagadh, Verawal, Kutch) while the other 10% is mix of Muslims and Marathis. Kumbharwada represents six generations from Saurashtra who have lived here since 1932. They are migrants whose forefathers left their hometowns in Gujarat in search of better wages and lifestyle in Mumbai city. History tells us that craftsmen of Pottery migrated from Kumbharwada village in Uttar Pradesh after the floods.

A view of Kumbharwada


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Households in Dharavi

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Kumbharwada pottery is the essence of traditional Indian pottery. It uses indigenous red and grey clay in traditional bhatti or kilns, using a variety of traditional methods of moulding and ornamentation. The pottery is utilitarian and domestic, simple yet attractive and is available in varied shapes and sizes, evolved to match a specific use. The entire family of potters contributes to making the goods ranging from simple diyas, vases, containers, pots, planters, statues, figurines, coin boxes, water pots, shallow dishes, plates and maatla. The tools used by the artisans are wheel, stone tappers and wooden battens. Kumbharwada in Dharavi is known for mass production in red terracotta products, majority of which is sold to the domestic market. These potters produce work which embodies the most economic solution of form and function. The Kumbhars The Kumbhars of Dharavi originally migrated from Somnath, Veravali, Daman & Diu in Gujarat. Atleast two generations of family have lived in Dharavi. Just as any craft is learnt, the new generation of Kumbhars learn from watching their parents. This skill is perfected through constant practice and dedication over their lifetime. There are approximately six hundred households in Kumbharwada that make and supply pottery craft. Each household has an average of six family members, usually consisting of their grandparents, parents and children. They share their workplace and their home.

Households in Dharavi


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Shopkeeper located at an entrance of Kumbharwada in Dharavi, selling household items and pottery materials such as geru. Artwork at the Sion Sttation


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A non-diwali time in Kumbharwada

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A Kumbhar smoothens the bottom part of the matka with the tapla tool by beating the matka from the outside and shaping it with his hand on the inside. Although in the month of October, one would see every household covered in all types of diyas, there are a few houses that continue to make other products for year round supply.


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THE KumbharS The Creator and their Way of Life

In a Kumbhar household, the entire family is involved in various stages of making of the products. The men are the primary artisans, involved with working on the wheel while women are involved with preparing the mitti ka gola , the clay dough and decorating the products. The men set up the bhatti and are assisted by the women. In Kumbharwada, men sit on the wheel as early as 6 o’ clock in the morning, and can go on working till 7 in the night, making between 2000-5000 diyas. Water is supplied from 6-9 in the morning in Kumbharwada, and this is the time the women complete their household chores like collecting/storing water for the day, cleaning the house, washing vessels, cooking, and sending the kids to school. All the children who are of age attend nearby schools and intend to complete their education to find jobs in the city. The parents are supportive and in fact prefer if their children find work outside of the Kumbhar community because of better opportunities and better pay. They do not want to restrict their children to this craft in the belief that they will achieve a better lifestyle in other jobs with a fixed income.Although they don't regret becoming Kumbhar

themselves, they feel the children would have a more secure future if they opt for some other career. Most of the Kumbhars are content with what they do. The children themselves are involved passively in the production process, sometimes filling the bhatti, dipping the pots in geru and painting the diyas. Children were not seen working on wheels and it is a different state from what the older potters who said “I’ve been on the wheel ever since I can remember.” They started off with assisting their fathers on the wheel, which is not reflective in today’s time. The children who are not old enough to attend school can be found walking around Kumbharwada, playing with the cats. Infants stay in the house in homemade hammocks, and baby rollers. But they stay inside. They say there was a time when families would marry their daughters to the Kumbhar community, but this does not hold true anymore. They prefer to find men outside of the Kumbhar community.

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Some adults have found a way to support their parents by taking up full-time jobs that may be disconnected from the pottery craft, but they continue to work as Kumbhars at home whenever they have time. Hasmukh, a Kumbhar in Dharavi works as a full-time sales person in Mumbai, and is also involved in making the diyas at home. Whenever he gets leave from work, he can be found working on the wheel in his home. He has one daughter who currently goes to school. Some find a link between their craft and business in the city, moving beyond just production and gaining a new market, through arranging workshops on pottery craft, finding new buyers, and maintaining a shop. Nayan Duwariya is a 21 year old, who graduated from college and is now working as a salesman in Brittania while managing the marketing for his family’s pottery business. One of his brothers is in the merchant navy who is also a seasoned/expert artisan and assists the family when he is home. His other elder brother is training for the merchant navy. The family hires two karigars who work on the motorised wheels in their home. The current generation believes that they must find a median between pottery and regular jobs to maintain a decent livelihood, but none of them will forfeit the pottery craft completely acknowledging that pottery is their ancestry and is not something they can disassociate from.

Hasmukh prepares the Bhatti infront of his home with the help of his parents and his daughter. The entire family is involved with preparing the bhatti from setting the chindi and kapas and unloading the sun-dried pots.

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Nayan Duwariya, a 21 year old member of the Kumbhar community who leads marketing for his family's pottery business. Nayan in his home which he shares with his family.


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The life of a potter is the one which involved laborious work and long hours with less returns. This urges the potter to aspire for different professions for his children. Also, there are other opportunities in the modern world that the potters have adapted themselves to. These would be giving pottery sessions at schools across Mumbai which fetches them Rs. 3000 for a session; and also holding pottery sessions at marriages and birthday parties fetches them a decent income depending on the number of people trying out the craft. The potters also get orders from middlemen who would want a certain amount of wares to be produced for a commercial outlet or for designer’s store. Also, beginners in studio pottery come to Kumbharwada to learn to throw a pot and help with revenue of a few potters. Beginners, students of pottery/ceramics, designers get their wares baked by the potters by paying them some amount. While, life in Kumbharwada poses to be a burdensome but there are other ways that ease the living.

Potters like Jagdish Devalya find alternate sources of income by holding workshops at schools, exhibitions and birthday parties. He works on his wheel in his home on the first floor.


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Since the Kumbhars work in their homes, their homes are set up to combine their work equipment, storage and living commodities. The Kumbhar homes in Dharavi are generally made up of two sections, one room for pottery work where the wheel and moulds are placed and another section which serves as a kitchen, living area and bedroom. Most households may just have one room that serves as a kitchen and bedroom, with a simple storage for their metal containers and their sleeping mats rolled in the corner. Some households have a television set, refrigerator, and may have an extra room for these amneities. Most of the time, these one room houses is home to a family of six or seven. Bathrooms are mostly located in small sheds outside the house, next to an external storage for products. The Kumbhars create an effective dual workshop and home.

Women painting diyas in their homes. Kitchen on the left, and sleeping material rolled up on the right.

Cats lazing around every corner of Kumbharwada

The bhatti is located outside the home, sometimes owned individually or shared by different households.


Moulded clay and sun dried pots stored at the entrance of a Kumbhar's home

A Kumbhar's home in dharavi


A household in Kumbharwada


An old woman stacks the sun dried clay products in the storage room.


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THE CRAFT Tracing the Process of Making Pottery

The basic material used for the creation of any type of pot, involves the use of Clay. This is available in different forms at various places which majorly includes parts of Gujarat and Maharashtra. Clay in its natural form is further processed through various steps in order to make it kneadable for the pot making. The whole preparation process requires constant monitoring of clay to obtain the best consistency. Clay Preparation In the initial stages, the clay which is in the form of mud, is sourced from the agent or the middlemen and supplied to the potters from the factories near Rajkot (Gujarat) and also from some parts of Mumbai like Kalyan, Belapur, Bhiwandi, Mumbra and Diva in Thane district. The sourced clay(mud) is just one variety along with various other muds like chawal ki mitti (mud from the rice fields), Chini mitti (marble mud), Kaali mitti (black mud), Gerua (Red mud) and Pahaad ki mitti (mountain mud). After the clay reaches Kumbharwada, it undergoes transformation which varies from potter to potter based on the products they make and their requirement for the same. Women collect water in the early hours of the morning in huge drums to facilitate the preparation process.


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Diyas & Kulhads made of mixture of Red, Black and White Clay

Diyas made of Black Mud (turns white after baking)

Diyas made of Pahad ki Mitti


Bhaiyyas working on mixing the clay from the gunny bags. They use iron rods to help mix the clay using their hands and feet. A lot of physical labour goes into preparing the clay.


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This is followed by mixing the various components of mud and water together.Upto 400 litres of water is used for around 20 kgs of clay preparation. This measurement is increased or decreased proportionally. It takes place in a pit which covers an area of about 4’3’’(width) X 8’10”(length). Daily wage labourers are hired for this work who generally hail from Uttar Pradesh. These mitti men work for Rs.12 per bori (clay sack) and a bori weighs about 35kg. This whole procedure takes about 3.5 to 4 hours. The prepared clay is carried using tasla (iron container) and moved from the pit to the storage space. Further it is kept covered using torn sacks and other gunny bags. Bhaiyya kneading the clay mixture to provide required consistency and softness.

Unmixed clay stored in gunny bags

Preparing Mounds Once the clay is prepared, women of the family take charge to convert the prepared clay to form Dhele (dough) which weighs approximately 5kgs, 7kgs or 10kgs depending on the requirements of the potter. Each dough takes about 5 minutes to mould. While making the dhela, water is constantly added to smoothen the clay. Some Kumbhars also hire women to gets the dhelas made at Rs. 2 per dhela. Nowadays, machinery is available in market for making doughs, but it requires more labour and time in comparison to the manual method, adds Kumbhar Hussain Bhai Wagdi. The time required in a day by these women is 6 to 7 hours, in which they are able to mould 30 doughs per day.


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Kneading the Dhela using the mixed clay (stored outside covered in plastic sheets)

Checking the clay for unwanted materials by flattening the clay and picking out and throwing away particles

Completed Dhela


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types of clay & POTTERY Now the dhela is ready to be moulded into diyas (earthen lamps), matkas (pitcher), gamla (plant pot) and karwas (tiny earthen pots) used on the Hindu festival of Karwa Chauth. Every potter specializes in a certain kind of product which in turn requires a particular clay. For instance, Kumbhar Vijay, focuses mainly on karwas and the traditional diya which are majorly used in festivals and rituals all through the year. He says he prefers chawal ke khet ki mitti (soil from rice fields) for its firmness. Once a product has been formed on the wheel, it is removed carefully using a thread which comes from the gunny bags and is placed delicately onto a round base of wood for drying until it is ready to go to the furnace. In a day he makes around 400 pieces can be made. The kumbhars do not take many holidays other than the weekends. The do not touch the wheel on the two days of Ekadashi (11th lunar day). Kumbhar Vijay shares that he can make 15 karwas or one big matka with one dhela which weighs 7 kgs. Once the karwas and matkas are semi-dry, they are beaten using Tapla(tool made of flat wood with an extended handle) for added smoothness. Ash is applied on the surface of the matka so that it stabilises the pot. Along with the karwas and diyas, there is another pot which is larger in size. This is made in two parts owing to its size and is later joined together using a fine paste made of clay. The two halves are made using a pre-made structure of Plaster of Paris mould. Clay is applied manually on the inner walls of these two moulds. Once this is complete, the two halves are left for drying with a layer of newspaper, stuck on the inner surface to make it stay firm and avoid cracks. Beating the pot with tapla


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Gamla

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Matka

Diyas


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Newspaper is lined on the inner and outer surface of the pots to prevent the clay from cracking while sun drying.


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Saancha Machine: The stencil can be changed, while the machine remains intact. Pulling the lever presses the clay in the mould.

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Forming the shape with an upward motion of the fingerss


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Saancha is a technique of stenciling designs onto the clay which produces more output complemented with intricate designs through the process of stamping and punching. The clay used for these is referred to as pahad ki mitti(mountain soil) which comes in large blocks and is broken down and crushed to powder. The saancha machine is glazed with mitti ka tel(kerosene oil) and til ka tel(Sesame oil) so that the clay does not stick to the stencil. These diyas cater to the customer’s changing demand for something new every year on the Festival of lights. Kumbhar Hussain Bhai Wagdi is presently the only Kumbhar in Kumbharwada who owns a saancha machine. As majority of the other saancha diyas are sourced from other parts of the country and sold in Mumbai. The daily productivity is more as compared to the traditional diya making and includes upto 200 diyas per dough. He further adds, that he owns five of the electric wheels out of which he has manufactured two on his own and the others are sourced from Kolhapur in Maharashtra.

The hands are constantly dipped in water to smoothen the clay


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An elderly woman carries the formed diyas from the wheel (inside the house) to the outside for sun drying. These trays are generally placed on the roof of the bhatti.


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SUN DRYING THE moulded clay As Dharavi is a congested area, very little sunlight reaches the ground, therefore they are placed on the roof of Bhatti in trays. These trays come from the bottom of barrels and hold the pottery well. They are stacked on top of each other to store the massive amounts of products made on a daily basis. This takes around seven to eight hours for sufficient drying. In case of monsoons, the drying process is carried out inside the potter’s house under the fans which takes about two to three days.

The conical structure is used to stack the plates on top of each other to allow many diyas to dry in the sun

Stacking the trays on top of the bhatti for sun drying


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Trays stacked outside a Kumbhar's home used for stacking moulded pots

Items awaiting to be baked in the bhatti


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Preparing and Firing the Bhatti The final stage involves the burning process of the diyas or pots using bhatti(kiln) which comprises of kapas(cotton), bhusi (Hey dust) chindi(textile scrap), pathra(stones,terracotta and brick pieces) and metal sheets. Each bag of chindi costs upto Rs.60 per bori(bag).

Using bhusi for the bhatti


The bhatii is entered from the open side where the Kumbhar empties the bhusi sacks into the bhati

Placing metal sheets over the layer of bhusi on which the sun dried diyas are placed


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sundried diyas are unloaded into the kiln, evenly distributing them across the metal sheets lined on the bhatti.


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The smaller diyas are stacked into the bhatti first to prodvide stability. Bigger matkas are stacked on top of the smaller diyas


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Hussain Bhai Wagdi is only one in Kumbharwada who uses a saancha (moulding machine) He is loading the sun dried diyas into his bhatti.

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To start with, the potters family comprising of the men, women, elderly and the kids are involved to set up the furnace. First, the men assemble and arrange the pathra in sequence in order to form a uniform platform. By this time, the women collect the gunny bags comprising of bhusi and chindi for it to be placed upon the platform which was formed initially. Thereafter, the metal sheets are placed onto the earlier base. The diyas and pots are kept on these metal sheets. Once, the Bhatti is filled, a final layer of the metal sheets is formed as a covering for the bhatti. This restricts the heat from escaping, thereby retaining it and accelerating the process of burning. This process continues for about 9-10 hours and sees the temperature of bhatti reaching upto 900 degrees Celsius. The bhatti or burning process is carried out once in a fortnight while for the stencil diyas, it is set up more than twice a week. After the burning process is complete, the goods are removed from the bhatti and stored in godown or in small store area which are sometimes taken on rent. These rooms are also used by few Kumbhars to store raw materials. In a bhatti of about 1000 diyas and 100 matkas, around 30 percent of it gets broken or dismantled during burning, says Kumbhar Vijay. These are segregated and the repairable ones are mended using cement paste. This is applied by hands, with the help of a small piece of wood. Thereafter, it is left for drying under the sun. After its dried, the cement patch is painted over with a mixture of gerua and water.

Pushing sawdust into the bhatti through the openings on the bottom sides


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Burning coal in the bhatti


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Metal sheets covering the bhatti


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Diyas baking inside the bhatti. The hot bhatti assists in sun drying the moulded diyas.


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The burning Bhatti


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PAINTING THE DIYAS During the Diwali season, ladies of the household sit together and decorate the diyas with paints and chamki(glitter) sourced from hardware shops in Bhuleshwar, South Mumbai. In the painting process, a plastic bucket is used in which paint is mixed with water to form a consistent liquid for easy and even application. It is applied directly by hand and gloves are used, therefore there are no such health related issues or skin allergies, as suggested by Devi Behen. the diyas are first

taken in a sieve and dipped in the paint bucket. After a few seconds, the sieve is lifted out of the bucket and the excess paint is sifted for 3 – 4 times before spreading out the diyas on an empty cement bag. Over a base coat of paint, they embellish the pieces using laces, 3D liners, chamki(glitter), mirrors, beads etc. Decorative items and packaging material altogether adds up to a cost of about 10,000 INR per month, says Kumbhar Hasmukh. On an average they decorate 100 diyas per day.

Dipping diyas into a bucket full of red paint. The woman uses rubber gloves to protect her hands.


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Motehr and daughter dipping the baked diyas into geru to give it tha strong colour


Women and children sit outside their homes ainting the diyas


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THE MARKET Since Kumbharwada is a major Pottery hub, there are buyers and sellers coming from various places in Mumbai like, Shivaji Park, Kalyan, Thane, Koliwada, Matunga, Ghatkopar etc. It is a major business scope specially during the festive season due to which manufactures from states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and West Bengal sell their products through local vendors says, owner of Galwani Pottery. Products of this market also find business in other countries like United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Europe and Australia. The traditional pear shaped diya has found many variations to it in recent years as a result of consumer demand. The markets are flooded with diyas of every shape, sizes and colours. The manufacturers come up with mind boggling variety each year to keep up with the competition. Many of the main stream trends have caught on with this industry. Festive season finds market for various other products like lamps, wind chimes, Durga masks and other garden accessories. Elaborate designs using animal motifs like elephant, tortoise, bird motifs like swan, peacocks can be seen in diya stands. These are found in the range of 3-500 INR. Gifting and packaging has made a big impact in recent times. Painted diyas are sold in sets of 4 and 6 which are bought mostly for gifting purposes, says a shopkeeper at 90 feet road of Dharavi. Nowadays, there are various colors available in the market and most prominent ones are the ones with metallic shine and neon shades.

Miniature matka decorated with nylon rope.


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BUYER At the consumer end the increase in the price point can be seen from 2-5 rupees every few years while the raw materials, finished product and packaging has all seen a rise every consecutive year, according to Kumbhar Hussein Bhai Wagdi. Consumers purchasing are retailers, families, street vendors and bulk exporters from exporters. Markets are thronged well before the festival season and find orders for 50,000 pieces. Customers are accustomed to bargaining with the vendors.

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The traders fall for the bargains only in the increase of quantity ordered. The consumers in Mumbai are well aware of Kumbharwada being a hub for it therefore finds buyers of every budget can be seen flocking to this market. A factory owner from Badlapur states that inspite of his factory being in a far of distance from this hub, he prefers to sell his merchandise here year after year for the festive season in search for a good business.

A woman living in Dharavi sells diyas outside Sion station. She carries the wares from Kumbharwada and sells them


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A typical marketplace scene at the 90ft road near Kumbharwada Products are stored in buckets and crates. The diyas seens here are typically bought by the kg.

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Lamp wiith cutwork

Royal Elephant Artiface


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Ornamental diyas with stand and animal motifs.

Tulsi Planter


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Colourful decorated diyas


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Decorated blue and yellow diyas

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Decorated diyas with Happy Diwali on them

Packaged painted diyas on display at kubmharwada 90 foot wide road


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Diyas in varying styles and sizes produced at Kumbharwada


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Bell made from terracotta is a simple toy with a pleasing sound


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Pots in the shape of swan and fish


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Animal figurines for showpiece or toy. Clay turtle used as a tiny planter.


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STUDIO POTTERY Contemporary Pottery in modern India SULTHANA KHAN Sulthana Khan, an experimentalist with glazes, has her studio on the terrace of her house in Bandra. She is a specialist in ceramics and loves to make her own glazes, playing with the chemistry of oxides and also, prefers firing by gas. When asked about her connections with Kumbharwada, a very aspirational Sulthana expressed her respect towards her master Hanif, the only Kumbhar in Kumbharwada who works on stoneware. She sources her clay from him. She opines that the Kumbhars have a different style of working. After learning how to throw pots, she developed her own style and meaning to pottery.

Yashashshri Tehelker Yashashshri Tehelker, a graduate from ‘J.J. School of Arts’ who has been practicing for 12 years, shares her journey of pottery which started out as a struggle. She gave up the studio and went on to work at Raheja specializing in ceramics section trying to move beyond deadlines. After marriage, she reopened her own studio. Yashashri, originally aspired to be a painter, is now mostly into hand painted designs on her ceramics and is comfortable with electric firing. Firing, is the connection she has with Kumbharwada, as she used to fire her products in the bhatti of the Kumbhars, Abbas and Usuf, at Kumbharwada.

“He is my guru, my master. He has taught me what I know today.” Sultana Khan in her home with one of her creations


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A special glazed piece sits next to Sultana Khan's exhibition board

Making her own reference s


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Brahmdev Ram Pandit Brahmdev Ram Pandit is a Padma Shri awardee, for his contribution to the field of pottery. He has won several other awards and accolades. He has won the All India Fine Arts and Crafts Society Award twice. He is a winner of the Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay Award in 2007. In 1991 he was presented the state award by the state of Maharashtra. He was conferred the title of Shilp Guru in 2008 by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.He has been awarded the Pravasi Bihar Shri in 2012, by the Government of Bihar.He received the Padma Shri in the year 2013. His ceramic art installations can be found displayed at the Rashtrapati Bhavan and the Mumbai International Airport. His creations are used in Taj Hotels Resorts and Palaces and also Nikki Bonsai. He states that pottery is becoming an art, it is no more confined to its traditional methods. It is now a field of education and transforming into an art form. Pottery now has two aspects of it. Manufacturing and exhibitions. One can’t survive only on exhibitions, manufacturing is done to earn a living and exhibitions are the display your passion for pottery to the public. Exhibitions earn the name and reputation. We exhibit once in two years. Fifteen years back an individual shop would be enough, and it would run well. But times are changing. With the advent of malls, a stand alone shop is not enough. People don’t understand it like they used to and the shop don’t work that well anymore. Competition from China products has increased. But art galleries are still there. And art collectors who understand pottery, seek out our work, appreciate this work and also hold the artist and the art work in high regard. He absolutely loves his work and therefore says he doesn’t set hours of the day for his work. He dedicates all the time he can to his work.


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Panditji's various creations


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yusuf meherally centre Yusuf Meherally Centre in Panvel practice spottery at the centre. They make various products from figurines to large matkas to tiny patkas, to small household trinkets. They work with the karigars outside the kumbhad community, they source their clay from Belgaum, Karnataka. The centre also has oil and soap manufacturing units. They create employment for the residents of 5-6 villages nearby in Panvel. They have 130-160 visitors per month.

Miniature pots made and sold at the YMC shop in Pnavel

A product made at the YMC


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The reception at YMC

Pottery demonstration in the pottery room

Various products for display at YMC


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SUSTAINABILITY Sustaining the Craft

When looking for sustainability in pottery, everything from the process of making the craft to using it is sustainable except for the transportation of the clay from Gujarat and the painting of the diyas with shimmer and other chemicals. This shimmer gets into the drainage system. Since the customers are drawn towards everything glitter. there is a demand in the market.Hence, they are fulfilling it for their survival. The clay is brought to the Kumbhars from Gujarat and outskirts of Mumbai. Since, most of the clay is from Gujarat, the transportation poses a sustainable issue. Also, the acquiring of the clay requires mining process which is hazardous to the environment. There are a number of manufacturers in Gujarat and other parts of the country as there are extensive deposits of china clay distributed almost in every state and are in a reasonable position to cater to the needs of both domestic and export markets. The clay formed in situ in India is often soft and easily extracted with no blasting required. Further, the potters in Kumbharwada use chindi, cloth scraps, to burn their kilns. Sometimes the chindi is got for free from the nearby tailor shops, as there are other professions prevailing n Dharavi apart from

pottery. Once, the wares are bisked, there would be a lot of wastage. The potters claim that nothing could be done with the broken wares except to discard them. When in conversation with Padmashree Pandit Brahmodev, there was one interesting aspect that was brought out. Panditji, inspired from the Japanese pottery during a visit to Japan, explored the method of mixing broken pieces of ceramics along with the new clay powder for better molding and strength. These pieces of ceramics are imported from industries in Surat. This is a good way of giving a product a new life cycle. This aspect can be inculcated in terracotta pottery as well, since the potters complain of the broken wares being a waste and of no use. This would give the wares more strength and also help curb the broken wastages.

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Chindi waste used as cooking fuel

Paint used for painting diyas


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Burnt pots after baking

Broken lids


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burning the bhatti The bhatti is fired throughout the day and is a 6-9 hour long process. The bhatti is closed from 3 sides These bhatti are located right outside the Kumbhars’ homes. The lanes get covered in smoke when the bhatti are fired. This smoke enters their homes. Although most of the residents said the smoke does not bother them as they are accustomed to it. In fact, one would believe that the smoke only harms, yet there have been no cases of malaria in Kumbharwada, because the smoke eliminates mosquitoes. A systems map through a cause-effect relationship would prove that suppressing the smoke would only increase the mosquito population, and would cause other health risks. There must be a way to direct the smoke upwards, rather than let it spread through the houses. A chimney system made from local materials such as the waste tin sheets used to cover the bhatti could be used to direct the smoke in another direction. Raw Materials Since clay itself is sourced from the earth, it does not pollute the environment if there is wastage. Clay can be reused to make new diyas before the sun drying and baking process. Baked pots that faced breakage or were over-heated during furnace time cannot be recycled in the clay mounds. Most of these are disposed, but fortunately do not cause harm to the environment. The entire process of pottery itself is quite sustainable. The materials used are either sourced directly from the earth or reuse waste materials such


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as chindi (cotton waste) and kapas (textile waste) for burning the bhatti, tin sheets to cover the bhatti. The production process is a good system that represents sustainable material sourcing, and could be a model for other unsustainable crafts. Livelihood The craftsmen themselves believe it is not enough to only pursue pottery. They have found new methods of joining jobs with a regular income without abandoning their craft by working part-time/fulltime to associating their job with the craft through entrepreneurial business ideas. The younger children are no longer exposed to the making of the craft as their parents were, and are not aware of pot making and simply assist their parents. Setting up a model to help these small Kumbhars with their entrepreneuriaventures may allow them to stick to their craft and earn a comfortable living.

REUSING BROKEN Pottery after baking Padmashree Pandit Brahmodev, inspired from the Japanese pottery during a visit to Japan, he explored the method of mixing broken pieces of ceramics along with the new clay powder for better molding and strength. These pieces of ceramics are imported from industries in Surat.


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CRADLE TO CRADLE SOURCING THE CLAY Kaolin, also known as china clay, is a natural clay formed by chemical weathering of aluminium silicate minerals like felspars. It is relatively pure clay predominantly consisting of kaolinite (Al2Si2O5(OH)4), associated with other clay minerals like dickite, halloysite, nacrite and anauxite. Kaolin is commercially valued for its whiteness and fine particle size which distinguish it from other clays, such as, ball clay and fireclay. Other physical characteristics that influence commercial utility include brightness, glossiness, abrasiveness and viscosity. It often contains small amounts of impurities in the form of rock fragments, hydrous oxides and colloidal materials. Kaolin is produced and consumed in the country in crude & processed forms. The major use of crude china clay in the country is in Cement Industry and of processed china clay is in Ceramic Industry. The clay formed in situ in India is often soft and easily extracted with no blasting required. China clay resources in the country as per UNFC system as on 1.4.2010 have been placed at 2,705.21 million tonnes. The resources are spread over in a number of states of which Kerala holds about 25%, followed by West Bengal and Rajasthan (16% each) and Odisha and Karnataka (10% each). Out of total resources, about 22% or 608 million tonnes fall under ceramic/pottery grade, 4% are classified under chemical, paper filler and cement grades and about 73% or 1,980 million tonnes resources fall under mixed grade, others, unclassified & not-known categories. Cement Industry and ceramic are the major consumers of raw china clay.

China Clay


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MAPPING SUSTAINABILITY The collection of materials for the pottery craft starts with the mining of clay from mining fields in Gujarat. Mining is identified as an unsustainable activity, but extraction of this clay does not require blasting. Packaging of clay takes place in industries which is transported to the lanes of Kumbarwada. The potters use this clay in the making of their wares. They make the wares using an electric motor wheel which has become an adaption of the modern times and to meet the large number of orders. The increase in the number of orders seems to be leaning towards an industrial scenario for pottery craft. Also, the clay is transported to factories in and around Mumbai, marking the small beginnings of industrialization in pottery craft. Once the wares are dried, the potter uses the bhatti or the kiln to bake the wares. For this process, the kiln has to be pre-heated and heated during the process of burning. The fuel for the furnace comes from burning of the chindi or saw dust. This is a cause of air pollution which might be invariably affecting the health of the residents of Kumbharwada. An alternative solution to

removing the spread of smoke in the area would seem ideal, but the systems analysis proves otherwise. The smoke actually eradicates mosquitoes, which spread malaria. The bhatti can be more efficient if it is sealed. To reduce the time taken during burning and efficient use of the fuel, the bhatti can be sealed to achieve higher temperature quickly. Another issue to touch upon would be the usage of stencil machines by some of the Kumbhars in the area to produce perfectly crafted designs. This also indicates move towards industrialization of the craft. Wastage was identified in two stages of the life cycle. The wares are broken during the process of making. These are thrown away by the potters as they believe that they are of no use. Also, at the user end, the user buys new diyas every year encouraging the disposal of the old functional products. The solution that could be inculcated is the re-use of the broken wares in the process of making new wares. This would increase the strength of the ware and the molding would be easier.


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Local Industry

Manufacturing & packaging Making of the craft Transporting Motor usage

Burning od chindi for heating the furnace

Stencil usage

Clay mining

Selling of industry products side-byside with craft

Broken wares / old earthen item Usage

Thrown away

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“Shankar bhagwan ka vardhan hai.”


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Glossary B

D

Bhatti. भट्टी Kiln in which the pots are fired.

Dhele. ढे ले Clay Dough prepared by the ladies

Bhusi. भूसी Saw Dust used as fuel for the furnace.

Diyas. दीपक Earthen lamps

Bori. बोरी Plastic sack which is used to hold the clay.

Durga. दु र्गा Hindu goddess

C Chamki. चमकी Glitter used for decorating pots and diyas during diwali. Chawal ki Mitti. चावल की मिटटी Another variety of mud which is obtained from rice fields Chindi. चिन्दी Textile scrap is used in burning process as a fuel for furnace Chinni Ki Mitti. चीनी मिटटी Certain diyas are prepared using marble mud which is used to give glossy effect to the pots

E Ekadashi. एकादशी Eleventh lunar day

G Gamla. गेरुआ A variety of pot Gerua. गेरुआ Red mud which used as a distemper for the pots which gets cracked during the furnace process and also as a coloring agent


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K Kaali Mitti. काली मिटटी A variety of clay which turns white on baking Karwas. करवा Earthen pots with a spout made primarily for Karwa Chauth and other Hindu festivals. Kumhar ka chaak. कुम्हार का चाक Potter’s wheel which got replaced by the mechanical wheel

M Matka. मटका Pitcher is one of the kind of pots which the Kumbhars make Mitti Ka Tel. मिटटी का तेल Kerosene oil is prominently used to increase the fire intensity in the burning process

P Pahad ka mitti. पहाड़ की मिटटी Mountain mud which is sourced from places like Rajkot(Gujarat) Pathra. पथरा Stones and broken brick pieces which are used in the furnace process

S Sanche. सांचे Stencils or molds used to give different patterns to the diyas

T Tapla. तपला Tool made out of wood with an extended handle which is used to beat the matkas for giving it the final smoothness Tasla. तसला It is an iron container used to carry the ready clay from the mixing area to where it had to be made into doughs Til ka tel. तिल का तेल Sesame oil is mixed with kerosene oil to grease the stencil before the clay is inserted in the process of stencil diya making

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References 1. Jaitly, J. (1990). The Craft Traditions of India. New Delhi, India: Luster Press Pvt. Ltd. 2. Mehta, R. J. (1960). The Handicrafts and Industrial Arts of India. Taraporevala's Sons & Co. pvt Ltd. 3. Jyotindra Jain, A. A. Museums of India: National Handicrafts and Handlooms Museum New Delhi. 4. Perryman, J. (2000). Traditional Pottery of India. London: A & C Black Ltd. 5. Huyler, S. P. (1996). Gifts of Earth terracotta and clay sculptures of India. New Jersey, USA: Mapin Publising Pvt. Ltd. 6. Generating a comprehensive documentation and product upgradation for the promotion of terracotta craft (Dharavi) 7. Krishna, N. Arts and Crafts of Tamilnadu. (P. b. Rajamani, Ed.) Ashok Leyland in association with Mapin. 8. Villoo Mirza, V. M. (Ed.). (2012). ‘Handloom and Handicrafts of Gujarat’. Mapin Publishing Pvt. Ltd. on behalf of Gujarat State Handloom & Handicrafts Development Corporation Limited. 9. Sneha Vaidya, N. K. (Fashion Design, NIFT 2003-2007). CD –045: Craft Documentation Earthenware in Dharavi. Mumbai.


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Image Sources Ramaswamy, N. (2015). All the way from Thanjavur [Digital Image]. Retrieved from www.chennaidailyfoto.wordpress.com/2015/06/11/all-the-way-fromthanjavur Chai Kulhad Cup Made in India [Digital Image]. Retrieved from www.desihighstreet.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Spice_Kitchen_04.jpg Lord Ganesha Idol [Digital Image]. www.hobotrails.com/go-green-go-pottery-town Ganguly, B. (2014). Pottery Painting at Kolkata [Digital Image] Retrieved from www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pottery_in_the_Indian_subcontinent Ismoon (2012) Storage Jar. [Digital Image] Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pottery_in_the_Indian_subcontinent Ganguly, B. (2013) Painted Grey Ware. [Digital Image] Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pottery_in_the_Indian_subcontinent Ganguly, B. (2013) Northern Polished Black Ware. [Digital Image] Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Black_Polished_Ware Blue Pottery [Digital Image]. Retrieved from www.rajasthanheritage.com Black Pottery [Digital Image]. Retrieved from www.indiankalakari.com/beer-mug-handmade-650ml China Clay [Digital Image]. Retrieved from http://shreeramminerals.com/portfolio/china-clay/ Brahmadeo Ram Pandit Pottery [Digital Image] Retrieved from http://paramparikkarigar.com/blog/2014/07/jewels-in-our-crown-master-craftsmanbrahmadeo-ram-pandit-padma-shri-awardee-pottery/ Aerial view of Dharavi [Digital Image] Retrieved from https://www.shutterstock.com/pic-415547542.html Non-diwali time [Digital Image] Retrieved from https://www.shutterstock.com/pic-493794922.html

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Pottery Craft of Dharavi

Credits Photographs by Mahima: Hands dipped in water to smoothen clay. Dipping diyas into red paint. Miniature Matka. Decorated blue and yellow diyas.

p46 p65 p69 p76

Photographs by Tejaswini Gowda: Diya Paint. Chindi waste.

p97 p97

All other photographs by Tanya Mathew

Special thanks to Ima Iqbal for her poem 'The Potter and The Clay' Book Design by Tanya Mathew | www.kachumpa.com


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Pottery Craft of Dharavi

Craft Document Compiled by Master of Design 2015-2017 NIFT, Mumbai Aiman Iqbal Mahima Shumayla Afaf Tanya Mathew Trina Biswas Tejaswini Gowda Zosangliani

Special thanks to our mentor Ms. Rashmi Gulati, Assistant Professor


Pottery Craft of Dharavi, Mumbai  

The four elements—earth, water, fire and air— nestle comfortably in the art of pottery. The craft that emanates out of Kumbharwada encompass...

Pottery Craft of Dharavi, Mumbai  

The four elements—earth, water, fire and air— nestle comfortably in the art of pottery. The craft that emanates out of Kumbharwada encompass...

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