Poor quality of clay and high demand are reasons

The ever-increasing demand for the famous cylindrical ranjan has pushed the aesthetics of the traditional Adilabadi water-pot to the background.

The need for an assembly-line-type of production has resulted in potters ignoring the original design, which was of great aesthetic value.

Though the overall shape of the clay water container remains the same, there is no symmetry. Even the designs which used to adorn the neck of the vessel cannot be seen these days.

The attention given to the designs on the ranjan was such that a potter woman could produce only five pieces every day. At present, each worker makes at least 20 pots.

“The potters used to make ranjan s with mouths of four types. The level of the lip was perfect for the lid to fit on,” recalls Kala Ratna awardee and founder of Kala Ashram Adilabad Guruji Ravinder Sharma. Clay mixed with pebbels Kothapalli Dattu, an elder from a local potter community, blames the shortage of good quality clay for the loss of design. He says the clay which is used now is mixed with pebbles, which do not allow any finesse to go into the making of the ranjan . “The clay which was used by potters in the past had a unique quality. It burns so quick that a lot of ranjan s can be produced in just 45 minutes of burning of a kiln,” adds Guruji, who is considered to be an authority on rural and traditional communities in Adilabad.

With rising demand, potters churn out more numbers, but at the cost of the traditional water pot’s aesthetics