Twenty years back walking through the streets in Bengaluru was refreshing especially in the early mornings. It was surrounded with plants around with flower pots and Love birds’ nests in front of each house with earthen pots. Most of the places were surrounded by plants and around regions of the cantonment and other places of the Bengaluru city therefore it is generally referred to as the Garden city of India. It was very pleasant to see the dew of water on the plants in the early morning which would keep a person fresh throughout the day. Along with the birds singing and the pleasant weather, most of the houses had the love birds hanging in front of them. It was beautiful to walk through most of the houses with chirping, singing of the birds along with its blessed climate that anybody who lived in Bengaluru long years ago will treasure these experiences in within themselves. One of the common things that your eyes will trace through is the earthen pots, earthen nests in and around each house that were generally bought from the potter’s town.
There were many places the potter’s shifted as per the requirement of the work to be done, but there is colonies of potter’s were the skill of pottery is handed down to their younger generations and relatives. Pottery Town is one of the area located in Bengaluru which is about three km away from Bangalore Cantonment and situated to the Bangalore East station near the Frazer town, and Cox Town areas of Bengaluru. Potter’s of the Pottery town generally hails from the Kumbara caste known as the people who work with clay or pots. The craftsmen usually found are from the Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh regions of India who settled here around 200- 300 years before. The third or fourth generation lives here and has carried their tradition of their forefathers till this day.
It is believed that these people used to shift from place to place in search of clay near to the lake side areas and tent along its sides in making of the vessels and pots. Earlier the earthen pots or vessels where the only source on which people used to depend on for their daily cooking and basic needs. As per the craftsmen, their ancestor’s settled here in search of clay and the British settlements in the surroundings located them gave a portion of the land to them which was usually allotted for their chariots. Later they settled here making pots/ vessels collecting from the pottery town, previously that was a lake long years ago. This lake was refilled to closed down the several small lakes around this region, Pottery town is surrounded by most of the previous British colonies like Frazer town, William’s town, Cox town, Richards town, Thomas town, Cooke Town, Cleveland town, Benson town etc.
There are about few families which are settled down in this area making pottery as their hereditary tradition and transferring the same to their younger generation. At present they face the difficulty in getting the clay of the right condition in making of the pots/ vessels. Items are made as per the seasons like Diya’s / lamps in the Diwali seasons, Ganesh is particularly made by the experienced hand skilled people of this place during the Ganesh Chaturthi season. Other time the craftsmen is found making the ice cream mud cups, pots, birds nest, piggy bank etc.
As per the artisan the good quality clay are scarce in finding and as the water bodies are more polluted and the clay materials collected from these surroundings are not suitable for the making of good clay materials. Therefore it is transported from Tamil Nadu on a load bases for a year from where the craftsmen collect it from them. During the rainy season the work gets stopped as the required amount of sunlight is not obtained for perfectly drying the clay materials.