Jaipur Art: Clay Utensils
Jaipur is a city of art. Art is immersed even within things that are of utility. Jaipur’s houses, temples, forts, markets and even rituals and traditions are immersed in art. That is why Jaipur is also known as the city of art. Especially in handicrafts there is no equal to Jaipur. From clay utensils to gold jewellery Jaipur stands above every other city in these hand crafts. Clay utensils are bought in Jaipur on a large scale and people believe in them more than electronics. In matters of taste and health clay utensils leave all other peers behind.
It is known that the founder of Jaipur King Jai Singh wanted to make the city into an economically independent unit. That is why is the main markets of Jaipur he gave preference to stores over everything else. Apart from this he settled skilled people in the neighbourhoods next to the markets. These skilled people were an entire community who were involved in the making of certain specialised goods. It is on the names of these communities that the walled city of Jaipur still has many colonies settled in. The work of clay utensils used to essentially happen in the Potters’ Colony but today this skill is widespread in Jaipur. But tradition goes on.
The Jaipur Surahi is being made since the time of the founding of the city. The water of the Jaipur Surahi is still relished by old people in summers. Even today clay pots and the Jaipur Surahi are used instead of fridges for cold water in many households. The Jaipur Surahi is very appealing to look at. Its speciality is that its water does not harm a person the way fridge water can in summers. As soon as summer begins the Jaipur Surahi is available at many places for sale. Along with the Surahi red and black clay pots and other utensils are also available in the market during summers. The Surahi can be easily bought at Chauda Raasta and M.D Road. The art of the Surahi and clay pots attracts people in the markets. With the change in trade and fashion the shape and style of the Surahi, too, change. What doesn’t change is its sweet and cold water. The Jaipur Surahi is available is all sorts of shapes and sizes and is decorated finely outside. The mouth of the Surahi is very small, so two handles are built to lift it and a long neck is built to keep the water cool. Its scented water is far more appealing to the people in Jaipur than fridge and cooler water. The Jaipur Surahi and clay pot are available for 30 to a 100 rupees.
Pots with Taps
To brew art into earthenware is a Jaipur speciality. Change is made into these utensil according to use. The artisans of Jaipur keep in mind that together with art there should be effective use of the utensil. With the summer heat earthen pots are visible everywhere on the streets of Jaipur. Along with the red and black ordinary pots there are also pots available with taps fitted to them. The pots with taps are especially made longer and oval in shape. To balance them on the ground the bottom is made flat and a tap is put on to them. The price for these pots in the market is between 50 to 100 rupees. These pots are appreciated by Jaipur people.
Kulhad or Earthen Glasses
You must have had Kulhad lassi in Jaipur and enjoyed it. Drinking lassi in a Kulhad instead of steel, glass of paper glasses is a source of immense pleasure. The taste of clay along with the lassi is superb and Kulhads are available on a large scale in the city. The special feature of clay utensils is that they are pure. After being made with clay they are kilned in a fire. These Kulhads are mostly used in juice centres and tea stalls. Ordinary glasses are washed with water and reused whereas Kulhads are broken once used. These Kulhads are used in marriages too. The pleasure of having lassi, rabadi, sugarcane juice, tea is unparalleled. Kulhads are available for 2 to 5 rupees in the market.
Children are more fond of breaking Piggy Banks rather than making them. Piggy Banks of clay are made on a large scale in Jaipur. They are called Gullaks. Every household In Jaipur would probably have such a Gullak. These specially crafted Gullaks are not only useful, they are very good to look at as well. Gullaks come in various sizes and shapes in the market. Earlier Gullaks used to be round, now they are available in all sorts of shapes-cylindrical and shell like too.