Kagzi Pottery – The lightweight lota, that sowed the seed
Alwar is know the world over for Kagzi pottery. Kagzi refers to the paper-thin style of pottery. This is extremely lightweight and thin, albeit quite sturdy. One of its torchbearers, Om Prakash Galav has been creating magic with terracotta craft and has been celebrated and awarded for his contribution to it.
When Om Prakash was younger, a lota (pot) with nakaashi (carving) made by his great-grandfather lying around the house, caught his eye. His great-grandfather explained to the then very young Om Prakash that the pottery skills associated with that particular lightweight lota used to be the special skills of their family in the days gone by, but there weren’t many takers for it now, perhaps because of the high costs, as making it was a time-consuming and a highly skilful task and sadly there wasn’t anyone in the village either who valued those craftsmanship skills either. However, he was determined to learn this skill from his family though it would be only fair to add, that no one could have imagined in their wildest of dreams that these traditional skills would be valued and loved by the world in the years to come, and a lot of the credit for that goes to Om Prakash for waving the flag of Alwar and of Ramgarh pottery high.
Om Prakash’s journey to fame:
It often takes just one opportunity to transform an ordinary life into something extraordinary. This opportunity knocked at Om Prakash’s door around the year 2009 and he seized it with open arms. He attended school until class ten, after which he joined the family business of pottery as the financial situation in the family wasn’t great. With his grit and determination, Om Prakash transformed this situation and began his experiments and innovation with clay. Prior to this, he almost became a policeman in the year 2008 but the universe had other plans for him; to be a game-changer in the world of clay, clearly where he belongs.
We do often hear that hard work is always rewarded and this is what happened in Om Prakash’s life too. In the year 2010, Coca Cola launched a campaign which involved him working with the Happy Hands Foundation as part of Coca Cola’s CSR initiative. The project taken up by him was to create a massive ten feet bottle in seven days and, this work got a mention in the Limca Book of Records too. This project then led to the beverage company giving Om Prakash further work on creating 300ml bottles with clay, which were then decorated by the Warli artists. Om Prakash is hugely grateful for the support of this large corporate as this played a huge part in his name being recognised across the world. One right opportunity given to a talented man opened a much bigger world to him and then along the way, he bagged several awards from across the globe including the International Craft Award, the National Award and the UNESCO awards for excellence.
A look at his family as well a peep into his work
Om Prakash is extremely proud of his heritage and his ancestors and here are the names of the greatness that came before him and taught him the craft.
- Father’s name- Shri Fateh Ram Prajapat
- Grandfather’s name – Shri Sohan Lal
- Great Grandfather’s name – Shri Lallu Ram ji. He was also known as Pahalwaan in the area as he was brilliant at wrestling. Om Prakash has safely kept a few items that were made by his great-grandfather.
Contact Shri Om Prakash Galav of Ramgarh Clay Pottery at:
- Phone: +91- 9828220685
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For Website: Click here
- For Instagram: Click here
From miniatures, kitchenware and various home accessories in clay, do connect with him and bring home a little tradition.
All pictures courtesy: Shri Om Prakash Galav