Last updated: October 25, 2022, 12:44 PM IST
With the passage of time, the art of making pottery is also disappearing and has been replaced by metal and plastic vessels. However, in some villages of Kashmir, this art is still alive in one form or another. There are certain arts that require hard work. Handmade urn-shaped clay ovens, called Tandoor in the local language, are particularly noteworthy. There are countless families in Kashmir who have kept their relationship with the soil alive.
Palhallan Pattan in the Baramulla district of North Kashmir is one of the prominent examples in this direction. The ovens made by the artisans of Palhallan Pattan are an example throughout Jammu and Kashmir UT. The artisans of the Palhallan pattern say that they are satisfied with this art and earn a good income. Speaking to News18 Jammu and Kashmir Ladakh Himachal, a craftsman named Abdul Raheem Kumhar said: “I have been making earthen ovens for fifty years. Thank God I earn a nice amount. I learned this work from my father and I am very happy with this work.” Another craftsman, namely Ghulam Mohiuddin, told News18 that he earns his living making these clay ovens. Speaking to News18, a young craftsman said: “Because I have to go into the same ground, I’ve linked my work to it. I am very happy that I can support my family by earning money from making ovens.”
Craftsmen say the demand for pottery is less, but there are quite a few kiln buyers. They make good money making and selling ovens. A customer named Abdul Majeed Parra said during a conversation with News18: “I’m actually from Khag Budgam. I live and work as a baker in Srinagar. Today I came to Palhallan from Srinagar to buy oven as Palhallan Pattan ovens are very good and strong. I’ll take this oven from here in the car to Srinagar.’
To make a furnace, good soil is taken from the mountains after digging several meters. In addition to sand, the oven is prepared by mixing many more things. The large oven is prepared in three or four stages. Sunlight is very important for making ovens in winter. It takes time to prepare the oven during the winter season. Therefore, this work is hardly done in winter.
The artist who kneads the clay kneaded with his feet with great skill is called a potter. The potter first kneads the clay. It is then developed into works of art. They make everything except ovens, but in Kashmir such art and artists do not get the importance they deserve.
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