Gorakhpur is one of the major and largest districts of Uttar Pradesh.
Gorakhpur got a Geographical Indication (GI) tag for its traditional terracotta craft sometime back.
Terracotta craft has given a special identity to Gorakhpur and now this GI tag will benefit the artisans engaged in the craft.
Terracotta craft of Gorakhpur got international identity after the GI certificate.
The terracotta work of Gorakhpur is a traditional art form that transcends centuries, and potters make various animal figures like horse, elephant, camel, goat, ox, etc. with hand-applied ornamentation.
Despite the richness of art and numerous laurels, these terracotta artisans live in penury as they often fail to get the right price for their products.
Terracotta craftsmen are mainly spread over villages of Aurangabad, Bharwalia, Langadi Gularia, Budhadih, Amawa, Ekla etc. in Bhathat and Padri Bazaar, Belwa Raipur, Jungle Ekla No. 1, Jungle Ekla No. 2 in Chargawan block of Gorakhpur.
The recent GI certificatication will help artisans in branding the terracotta products and earning a decent livelihood.
The process of GI certification for terracotta products will benefit the craftsmen and those involved in the trade in national and oversees markets.
The clay used in the terracotta products is ‘Kabis’ clay which is found in the ponds of Aurangabad, Bharwalia and Budhadih areas.
Also, such clay is found only in the months of May and June. And for the rest of the year, the ponds are filled with water.
The terracotta craftsmen do not use any colour. They only dip the clay structure in a mixture of soda and mango tree barks, and bake it. The red colour of terracotta does not fade for years.
The terracotta artists make various structures like bells, vases, Ganeshas, tables, elephants, deer, horses, bullock carts, horse carts, lamps and chandeliers.
Despite the richness of their art and numerous laurels, the artists live in penury as they often fail to get the right price for their products.
Gorakhpur is situated in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh in India near Nepal border.
Among the clay products of Uttar Pradesh, clay figures of animals, gods and goddesses are made by local potters at Gorakhpur.
Thousands of hands have received worldwide appreciation for the city of Gorakhpur.
Gorakhpur focuses on the humble craft of terracotta toy making that enriches our daily life. Various faces, costumes, decoration of these art pieces is superb. Statues or idols are realistically produced for festivals.
Gorakhpur has established a different style of terracotta toys that comes in natural and soothing look.
Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh has villages where large animal clay figures are made by local potters, and is famous for its ornate terracotta horse.
The potter makes the basic form of throwing isolated pieces of clay over the wheel and then assembling them.
Clay craft is probably established by man in the handling of clay, thousands of clay Kulhar (clay tea cups) which are used for tea, sweets or water.
Lumps of clay are hand moulded into toys and deities that are worshipped.