These pots have put this village in Tamil Nadu on the global map. Manamadurai in Sivagangai district is known for pottery making. The Manamadurai pottery recently earned a Geographical Indication (GI) tag.
How are these pots made?
The Vaigai river enriches the clay used for the Manamadurai pottery. Pot making requires expertise as the bottom has to be perfectly round. The circumference of the pot and the neck should be proportionate so that the pot sits flat on the ground.
The right proportion of mud, clay and heating makes this product very strong. The main raw materials for making these pots are soil and water.
The sand, collected from different places of the district, is used for making pottery and dried for two days. The particles of the mud get separated by sieving.
The slurry is mixed with the sand and lead and graphite are added to the mixture to improve the quality. This mixture is now rich in calcium lime, ash, red lead, sodium silicate, manganese, iron, and plasticizing. The pot is also painted in different colours.
What makes these pots unique?
A unique type of clay is sourced from water bodies like Nedunkulam, Nathapurakki, Sundaranadappu, Seikalathur to make these pots. While making these pots, the five elements of nature namely earth, water, fire, sun and air are used. The basic material for pottery is mud, which represents the earth. Mud is mixed with water, another element of nature.
This is followed by baking in fire, adding the third element. The air percolates through the pores in the clay, marking the fourth element. And finally, the cavity enclosed by the pot or any related article represents space.
Reporting: Sangeetha Kandavel
Voiceover & Production: Abhinaya Sriram
Videos: R. Ashok