“Kashigari” is a dying art, which was once very popular in the 18th century. The historical monuments decorated with blue ceramics, found throughout Islamic countries, are a reminder of the glorious past of the Islamic civilisation. In current times, mass scale manufacturing has made handmade things invaluable. They are valued especially by international visitors to Pakistan. To ensure that the art is preserved for the next generation, the Institute of Blue Pottery (IBPD) in Multan has designed a project to revive this art by developing innovative design patterns and diversifying the product line. To allow for a better price and at the same time improve the product quality, IBPD is testing the possible usage of different raw materials such as Feldspar, Quartz, Pottery clay, local China clay, and cobalt colours in the blue pottery making. This project is supported by the TVET Reform Support Programme as part of the Fund for Innovative Training (FIT) component. The TVET Reform Support Programme is co-financed by the European Union, the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the Federal Republic of Germany and administered by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
IBPD was established in 1985-86. It is under the administrative control of the Punjab Technical Education and Vocational Training Authority (TEVTA). Since its establishment, IBPD has successfully promoted the revival of the blue pottery production in Multan, thereby focusing on skills and knowledge development as well as marketing.
The objective of the project is to develop a skilled workforce in the ceramic industry proficiency for the development of new designs of moulds and models, of Kashi designs as well as its up-gradation
The project will train 40 beneficiaries over a period of 10 months, of which each training will last for six months. Two training courses will be introduced. One is for Ceramics New Design and the other for Kashigiri. The trainings will provide an introduction to new technologies and techniques in blue pottery creation. An experienced and qualified trainer will be engaged by the project to support the new design and development. After completion of the training, the participants will be supported to find employment with either ceramic companies or to become self-employed and work from home. This training programme is the first structured and comprehensive training approach regarding blue pottery, which traditionally was carried out under the Ustad-Shagrid system.
It is expected that this project will support the continuity of blue pottery art by creating a pool of comprehensively trained blue pottery artisans. It will also enhance the blue pottery production in Pakistan.
Contact Detail: Akhtar Abbas Bharwana