The process of making pottery is almost similar in all parts of India but due to the craftsmen improvise the process by adding some of their creativity or personal touch. Initially chunks of clay locally known as chiknimitti is collected from the river banks and stored. The chunks are beaten with the help of a wooden mallet to convert them into clay powder and further refined using a filter to obtain fine powder, by removing the impurities. Clay is mixed with required amount of sand and water and kneaded until a soft clay dough is acquired. Clay dough is stored in a moist free place for almost 2 months and it is required to knead once again to obtain fine grained soil while using to attain the property of elasticity. Potter’s wheel is called Chak in local language is used to shape the clay into desired form.
Clay dough is placed at the center of the turning wheel and water is sprinkled to make the clay wet. As the wheel is turned, craftsmen starts to shape the clay. Potter’s wheel is rotated manually or by electric drive. Water is added frequently to retain the moisture. The clay is shaped into desired form. A smooth surfaced stone is used to slide along the shaped article to smoothen and level the article’s surface while turning and finished piece is cut and separated from the wheel with the help of a thread. The shaped articles are dried in direct sunlight. Cooking pots, water storing pots are the basic products made from clay.
A pot holder is fixed on the turning wheel and the partially dried clay pot is placed upside down on the holder. With the help of a round metal tool excess clay is scraped out and the pot is given a proper shape. The edges and surface of the article is shaped with the smooth stone. Finished articles are dried in the direct sunlight for a day. Red oxide stone is powdered and soaked in water for overnight to obtain a red color solution to paint on the clay articles and dried. The products are then baked in a kiln to strengthen the quality and make them more durable. Backed products are painted with enamel colors to make them look more attractive and eye catching. Most of the craftsmen involved in this craft are male and have been producing clay articles from decades.