How are these black pottery made?

Terra Klay invites you to journey with us to northeast India, Manipur, a place where for generations, local artisans have created beautiful pottery. This traditional craft is mastered by the Thankhul Naga tribes which has been a part of their lives for centuries. Used daily in the kitchen and for the storage of food, it is said that pottery is the heart of every home in Manipur.

The raw materials used to make this black pottery are weathered and serpentine rocks, which according to locals, are available only at their village of Loree alone, making each ingredient completely natural and locally sourced from the immediate area. 

The two rocks are crushed to a powder and mixed with water to form a clay-like consistency. Crafted without the use of a potter’s wheel, Terra Klay pottery is molded and created by hand and bamboo tools. Once the shaped clay has dried and is hard enough, it is taken to an open bonfire and heated for 5 to 7 hours at temperatures over 900-1000 degrees centigrade. The signature black of the pottery is a result of the clay used, followed by the smoke stains while firing. 

As a finishing touch, the pottery’s soft black color is finished by rubbing the piece with a leaf known as ‘machee’, giving it a unique and almost metallic shine when still hot. Terra Klay's collection reflects its respect for nature, culture and quality while retaining its timeless aesthetic. 

All Terra Klay earthenware is lead free and food safe.  And because of it’s non-mechanized production, the pottery will slowly “season” over time.



 The home of the artisan of Terra Klay

Terra Klay artisan at work

Materials and Tools used in making of the Black Clay Pottery of Manipur,India

Process of making and shaping the clay for the black clay pottery of Manipur, India

The Making of the Black Clay Pottery of Terra Klay

The process of Making black Clay pottery of Longpi, Manipur for Terra Klay


 A video on making of the black clay pottery



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