Photographer's Note

Bishnupur is a city in Bankura District in the state of West Bengal, India. It is famous for its terracotta temples and the balucheri sarees.

Terracotta is the benchmark of Bishnupur. Apart from the temples, terracotta pottery, artifacts and even jewellery made in this very traditional material is famous.

The village Pachmura is 25 km away from Bishnupur. All inhabitants of this village are potters. These people construct several varieties of earthenware – from daily use materials to colorful decorative items.

The produce are earthen vessels, such as palm/date-juice container, large water pot, small water pot, and various festivals specific items like idols -god, goddess, earthen lamp etc. In various seasons, special earthen pots are prepared as there is market demand.

The artisans are required to collect earth for pottery .It is very difficult to find suitable earth for the work. They have to bring it from far off places in trolley, which increases the expenditure on raw materials. The water collection is also a difficult task, as sufficient water is needed to mix earth to make fine clay. The tube well is located far and people are forced to stand in a long queue, which is time consuming.

Women arrange the earthen pots in line, color and place in fire and finally arrange them to store them carefully in their homes. People need to collect dry leaves and wood as fuel for the raw produce. Forest is far away and collection of fuel is time-consuming. The cost of kerosene oil has increased to Rs. 18 per litre and it is difficult to continue work in the night with such expensive light. Hence, they are forced to stop the work. There is electricity in the other hamlets. They had submitted money for procuring power lines, but it has been returned for some reason As regards the market it is the middlemen who dominate and collect decorative items at very low price.

This is a studio cum residence of a potter who is giving his imagination into shapes with a lump of clay.

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Additional Photos by Avishek Khan (avishek_khan) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 99 W: 20 N: 94] (544)
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