Government officials in Orissa, which is located on the east coast of India are encouraging traditional potters to make terracotta pots part of their trade. It is felt that this will help to improve sales and living conditions in the country as there has been such a demand for the product in the more cosmopolitan cities in India.
The idea is to convert potters into terracotta artisans so they can meet the demand for terracotta pots and also because they are not making enough money from the products that they are currently selling. Full training is being provided for those who are interested in branching out so that they can develop their skills and show the tourists and wealthier residents of the country that they can provide them with the products they want.
The reason why traditional potters are struggling so much to sell their products is because there are currently so many alternatives to what they make available. This has resulted in many of the potters who are living in Orissa to lead a difficult and struggling life because people would rather collect designer pottery products for their homes. Terracotta pots have always been a favourite amongst anyone who collects pottery which is why the government chose this material to re – train their potters in. It is hoped that everyone will appreciate the craftsmanship, time and effort that goes into making the product and choose to buy off local potters rather than large shop chains.
There have been many other factors which have contributed to the fact that traditional potters are now struggling so much. The fact that many of the markets where they can sell their products are too far away so they either can’t attend or it’s very expensive to go there is one of the major reasons. This is further fuelled by the fact that there has been an increasing amount of non – availability of proper marketing outlets and there has been an overall reduced number of people buying these kinds of products.
One of the things that people in this position have resorted to is selling their products door to door as taking them to a market is too difficult. If they don’t sell whatever they have made within a couple days then they have to carry them all the way back to their village. This is becoming more and more regular as less people are cooking in old fashioned earthen utensils and pots and more people are opting for stainless steel and aluminium utensils.
Training their potters to make terracotta pots is the Orissa governments last hope of trying to save this trades livelihood. It is thought as a positive step forward due to the fact that terracotta pots are so poular all around the world for many different reasons.