Gundiyali a village in Kutch is home to a unique pottery handicraft. The potters have been making the same designs of pots and pans since 5,000 years as similar designs emerged from the excavations of Harappa and Mohen-Jo-daro . The fore fathers of the potters residing in Gundiyali migrated from Sindh in Pakistan a few hundred years ago.
The potters not only use the spinning wheel to make perfectly shaped pots, but also a technique called Ghadayi, where they gently beat the half made matka (ghada or round pot for water storage) from the outside using a flat wooden disc with a handle. The potters are so adept that they can create perfect round matkas using this technique with bare hands. Kutch potters are also known for their beautiful intricate paintings on the pots, much like the Kutch Embroidery.
The pots of Gundiyali get their red colour from Geru, a type of soil(ocher/umber) and the black and white dots and stripes are also made with natural material. The terracotta pots of Gundiyali are unique because of their smooth finish which is result of repeated cleaning at every stage of the process of their making.
The sedimentary soil used for making terracotta pots is a renewable resource and the process of making pots doesn’t burden the environment with toxic chemicals and pollutants.
Apart from Matkas which sell in summer the potters also make diyas (earthern lamps) during Diwali, Gullak (coin banks), cups, plates and glasses.
Craft Canopy is closely working with these potters to enable them to set up their own small enterprises which will help them in improving their production quality and quantity. Craft Canopy through its on-line portal would be marketing their products as it would give this unique art a new identity and audience.