THE LONGPI POTTERY FROM MANIPUR
The Longpi Village in Manipur is home to the famous blackstone pottery. The Longpi products have a distinctive black colour along with cane and bamboo used to enhance the look and feel. All products are made from natural materials and sustainability is an underlying theme in the entire process.
PROCESS OF MAKING POTTERY
The process of creating Longpi pottery itself is fascinating. One aspect that stands out is that the potter’s wheel is not used in creating pottery and hence the skill and dexterity of the artisan is extremely important! The materials used are thought to be native to the Longpi village where Serpentinite (a soft dark greenish rock) and weathered rock are used in a set proportion of 3:2. These rocks are beaten into powder and mixed with water to form dough. The dough is then flattened onto a wooden board with the help of wooden & bamboo scales of varying thickness. Skilled artisans mound the dough with the help of bamboo blades, spikes & sticks. The surface is then polished with a smooth flat and oval shape stone. Once dried they are heated in a kiln for 4-6 hours at a temperature of 750 – 950 degree centigrade. The products are covered with leaves of Chiron na and the distinctive black colour is the result of the smoke that is emitted from these leaves. Further, cane and bamboo is used to create designs onto the finished pottery which adds to the elegance of these products.
Be it a cup, a jug or a utensil to cook food there are enough products in the Longpi range that will help in contributing to a sustainable development and in harmony with the environment.