Published: 27th November 2021
This Kashmiri teacher has been tasked with keeping glazed pottery alive in the valley. Here's why
Kumar is presently experimenting with blue-glazed clay pots, which he believes is an item of choice among customers who throng the shop at Hazratbal in Srinagar
Department of Handicrafts and Handloom in Kashmir appoint a 26-year-old commerce graduate as a contractual teacher to teach the dying art of 'glazed pottery' to seven other youth under the central-sponsored 'Karkhana' scheme.
Mohammad Umar Kumar hails from the Nishat area of Srinagar. While he used to work at his father's pottery shop, it was only after completing his schooling that he released the age-old art belonging to the valley -- which was famous during 1980s -- has been dying. United News India reported that the people who were once associated with the pottery business in Kashmir had almost given up on the craft. The glazed pottery artisans have nearly disappeared from the valley because there have been very few takers of the art in modern times.
He then decided to learn and revive it. "I tried to find a craftsman for 3-4 years who can teach me that art. Finally, I found an 80-year-old craftsman who knew the basics of it. He was happy teaching me as he himself wants the art form to survive," Kumar told news agency ANI.
Kumar is presently experimenting with blue-glazed clay pots, which he believes is an item of choice among customers who throng the shop at Hazratbal in Srinagar. "These glazed pottery pots are very cheap. The same is imported from America which cost very high as compared to this pottery. These hand-made glazed pots made of clay are hygienic as compared to the machine-made items from China and America," he added.