Pottery is a very big art in pakistani culture.as pakistan has very rich culture inside it so this pottery making is a part of it…Actually Pottery making has its own very long history which can not be defined in a single page.if we talk about the old civilization of Harappa and mohenjo daro we will become to know that this pottery was very essential part of their livings.more clearly the “clay” is the most important part of our lives.the relationship between clay and human beings has been coming along for thousands of years and it wil remain til the end.the human beings themselves are created with clay and that why man has found it’s attraction in clay and started using it in his daily life.clay pots are being made for a long long time.Though bricks are also being made but we wil talk about the art of “Pottery Making”.
In Pakistan Gujrat District is well knows for its pottery art.but in whole pakistan this art can be found easily..as we are going through very progressed culture,this art is now having it’s last breaths.there was a time when there are alot men who were making different types of pots and were getting their earnings as well and these hunarmand men were called “Kumhaar”.but seriously now no one likes if someone calls him a kumhaar.people think that its a slang to be called as kumhaar,thats why this art of potetry making is about to die in pakistan.
I went to district chiniot and met a Kumhaar,his name is Mohammad Younis,He realy is a class act in this regard..He has got megical Hands ,the way he turns a shapeless clay into a beautiful artistic clay pot.truely its an art of magic.
In earliar days A round Moving wheel was used for this purpose.this wheel is known as “Chaak”.the man puts some amount of clay and moves it with the power of his leg and here the magic starts.
As i started asking Him about this art,he told me that now a days people are running after Mechanical items or you can say that today’s Stainless steel and glass items as well.there was a time when there were alot of kumhaar in our region but today the old artists are getting died and no new comer is joing this art because they feel that its a bad occupation and they feel ashamed to do it.Mr younis was feeling so bad about his own son even that i still do make diff sort of clay pots but my son is interested in plastic or glass typed house items and i know when i will die this art will also be buried with me and there would be no more in family attached with this art.
Question was asked to him that what sort of clay is essential to make such pots or what is the whole procedure?he was very confident and happy to tell me that a specific soil which is known as “chikni matti “in pakistan,is required .i simply buy a full trolly of that clay and after getting it we put a lot of effort in its cleaniness and make it’s mud which is left for few days .after passing few days the clay is ready to be used in pottery making..!
Mr Younis has both typed of moving wheel “chaak”at his place..the one which is moved with the power of leg and the one which has an electric motor on it.
when clay pots are made on “chaak”they are left for few hours so they get some hardness in it.after that those pots are placed under a good sun light to get fully dryed and harder.and at the end a special chimnoy is fired for them and they are baked very well…it taked alost 2 days that pots get baked slowy and this is how clay completes it’s traveling.
Beleive me or not,when i was standing and looking his work..he was talking to me as well and in those few minutes he made many diff sort and types of clay pots.he was so perefct in his own work and was working like a machine.when i asked him that what is your speciality in pottery making?he smiled and said to me that i dont have any…im not perefect in this art,though i’ve been doing this work for last 40 days but still im a student,each and every day i learn new things and it will be continued till the last day of my life.so realy was soemthing special and unique from him that he is a true lover of a traditional art and a bright star of ‘Hunarmand Pakistan”