Blue pottery, a 100% handicraft industry, though Turko-Per-sian in origin, is widely recognized as a traditional craft of Jaipur. Legend has it that blue pottery came to Jaipur in the early 19th century when one of its rul-ers, Sawai Ram Singh II (1835 -1880) set up a School of Art and encouraged artists and craftsmen from all over the country to come and settle here, a tra-dition started by his forefather. Blue pottery has seen several ups and downs in its span of almost 200 years. There was a time when it all but van-ished from Jaipur, but the efforts of some concerned, like Smt. Kamla Devi Chattopadhaya, Rajmata Gayatri Devi and Shri Kripal Singhji helped to re-vive this dying art.
Leela Bordia, yet another patron of Blue pottery - proprietor of Neerja International Inc. had a very simple concept behind promoting Blue Pot-tery - to revive the dying craft as well as create a two-fold source of income for the artisans, where they would be at work on their own farms during monsoons (when production of blue pottery comes to a standstill). Blue pottery today is an industry that provides livelihood to hundreds of craftsmen and their families.
Though now the number of artisans is dwindling, despite the best efforts of the company to keep the craft alive. The lure of big cities proves to be one of the major hurdles in its progress. But still over the ages, the beauty and exquisite charm of the craft has seen it turn the tide in its favor and it is strongly hoped that it shall continue to do so for our future generations as well.
Leela Bordia has penned down the first coffee table book on Blue Pottery titled Jaipur Blue Pottery - A Tribute and presented the first copy of the Book to His Excellency the President of India Hon'ble Shri Pranab Mukher-jee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi, India.
The Book traverses the reader right through the advent of Blue Pottery, to its near extinction, its revival by art lovers, to its present day of success-fully rubbing shoulders with the in-dustrialized world. It spells out the amazing feat of the Blue Pottery arti-sans who were involved in keeping alive this 100% handicraft art from centuries despite facing multitudes of harsh difficulties. This Book is a Trib-ute to all those. It has been a humble gesture on her part to highlight this craft through her Book.