What is Pottery?
Pottery is created by molding a ceramic shape which is later heated at high temperatures for the hardening and setting of shape. This process also includes sourcing, crushing, mixing, kneading, potter’s wheel and lastly, firing.
It starts with the potter’s sourcing the clay material (which comes from the earth itself) from local towns, villages.
Kneading or wedging helps to remove air bubbles from the clay which makes it easier to work with. Potters then use the potters’ wheel to create whichever shape required by spinning the wheel into objects like diyas, pots (matkas) or wall hangings. After it has been shaped, it is left to dry, fired and then painted and decorated for commercial purposes.
History of Goan Pottery
Pottery is one of Goa’s oldest craft. Several decades before it was recorded in history, Goan potters have been known to provide temples with clay lamps and cooking vessels. It was they who brought fresh food supplies, drinking, and cooking vessels for mass meals. Fresh clay vessels were considered pure by their very nature. As they were wielded out of the earth, water, and fire 3 basic elements that support life. They held a prominent status in Goan society.
In the tradition of pottery, it is acceptable for men to use the potter’s wheel at any point of their working life, but women potters must create these beautiful objects by hand without the help of the wheel.
The Dying Art
Once a glorious profession has turned into a hand-to-mouth existence for many potters. Even though the history of clay dates back to 9,000-10,000 BC at the time when clay vessels were used to store food and water, it is believed that the art of pottery is as old as humankind.
The ancient art of pottery today is presumed to be crucial antiquity when it comes to the studies of anthropology and archaeology. With the numerous enhancements of forms, substances, methods, and materials that have been tried and experimented with, the perceptions and mindsets of people have evolved alongside.
People opt for décor that is mass-produced in factories by large corporates. Appreciation for hand-made products has substantially gone down killing a lot of art-based industries, and pottery being in line.
Pottery At Velha Goa
Goan potters and artisans are an integral part of Goa. The art that has been passed down by generations tells a tale of the age-old tradition of borrowing techniques and skills from other countries, whatever may be the differences among the nations.
At Velha Goa, this very essence of pottery is preserved through workshops that focus on bringing the youth closer to their ancestral gift of art. These workshops are led by professionals and are breathing back life into the dying art.
The tradition of pottery has been handed down to us by our forefathers and it is our responsibility to maintain it and we do religiously at Velha Goa. You can show love to these amazing artists by getting those stunning pieces from Velha Goa galleries in Panjim and Margao.