Islamabad -  The fading pottery-making profession has now getting popularity after delicacies and colours were added to the flower pots of different kinds and vases that can help Pakistan earn foreign exchange and name in the global market.

Making clay pottery is one of the oldest professions but it lost its charm when steel and plastic utensils became popular in households that also spread its tentacles over flower pots and vases. However, the crisp embroidery pottery- the hangings, bird nests, flower pots, hanging flower planters and vases, giving an impression of fabric and jewellery designs helped the potters to make good earnings once again with rising demand.

In Pakistan, Gujrat is considered the most prominent pottery production area, though this indigenous art is common almost in every city of the country to meet the local demand for flower pots and other utensils in demand.

Now this profession has acquired the status of unique and sophisticated cultural art with the gradual patronage of different government institutions and art schools.

The most important handicraft is the antique items, decoration pieces, embroider cloths, shawls, clay pots and many other items which were quite popular in the world and can be a great source of income for the country as well as the potters. It can also be used to improve the soft image of the country in the eyes of the comity of the nations.

The potters usually use refined local clay but for sophisticated art pieces white clay is used and it is mainly brought from Miawali and mixed with grounded glass which make the artifact durable.

Pottery made from white clay was of finer quality and had more shine as compared to pottery made from brown clay, one potter told this scribe. “We have been associated to this art since 1860 but now it seems that the skill may end with my death,” said 85-year-old Abdur Rauf Seemab, a veteran artisan.

Sitting at his pottery shop in an alley of Shah Wali Qatal area of interior Peshawar, Seemab mentioned to Peshawar artisans’ distinction of engraving on pots after moulding process, making the product unique and beautiful.

“Nowhere in Pakistan hand-engraving is done on clay pots,” claimed the octogenarian Peshawarite.

However, this skill is now common in other big towns and cities of the country especially Lahore and Karachi.

He informed that his grandfather Khalifa Mehmood had learnt the art of pottery with engraving from an Iranian who had migrated to Peshawar.

Later I adopted it as a profession by hiring the Iranian and skill was passed on to next generations, he added.

The products prepared by Peshawar Pottery Works become so popular that almost every foreigner visit Peshawar Pottery Works and purchase the

artifacts, he stated.