Kripal Singh Shekhawat has taken the fine art of blue pottery to unbelievable heights, he is indeed a craftsman par excellence.
Born in the desert state of Rajasthan,India in 1922, his destiny took him to the far flung Shantiniketan (West Bengal), Rabindranath Tagore’s famous art school, where he studied art. He also pursued a Diploma in Oriental Arts from Tokyo University .
His undeniable talent earned him a post of a teacher in the Sawai Ram Singh Shilpa Kala Mandir at Jaipur in 1963 where he tought indian painting and blue pottery.
He was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri in 1974 ,subsequently he wasalso honoured with the title "Shipla Guru" by Government of India in 2002.
Blue pottery is a 200 years old art form. The Mughals imported this Persian art form to India. Much experimentation with this art form happened in Delhi.
The king of Rajasthan, Ram Singh II who was a great lover of art was fascinated with this exquisite art form. He set up a school of art in Jaipur, and encouraged artisans and craftsmen to pursue this exotic art form. In this way, the art of blue pottery traveled to Jaipur. And under the able patronage of the Maharaja, it became an incredibly popular art form.
Blue pottery is so called because of its blue centric color scheme. The blue color is achieved by the oxidizing of cobalt, while the green from chromium and copper oxides. Recently, artisans have also started experimenting with other colors such as yellow (cadmium oxide), red-brown (iron oxide) and dark blue. Patterns are usually floral or arabesque, or of animals and birds.
Blue pottery, which was practically lost, was revived by Kripal Singh Shekhawat. He trained several students in this intricate style of drawing. He also trained young painters in various other disciplines of painting like-fresco, stucco, pichwai painting, woodwork, etc. He continues to train and run workshops in India and abroad.
His widespread fame has resulted in invitations to hold seminars and workshops throughout the world. Many scholars and artists visit him from all over the world, in their pursuit of knowledge of excellence.