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Balkhar ceramics, Dagestan

Balkhara ceramics, one of the oldest pottery crafts of the North Caucasus. Its center is in the Lak aul of Balkhar-Akushinsky district of Dagestan. There is a legend about its founder named Kalkuchi. Traditional female occupation.

Non-glazed ceramic products (water containers — Ursha, plates, bowls and other dishes, small plastic) are formed in a harness way and on a potter's wheel, decorated with engobe (originally red, from the end of the 19th century mostly white), floral and geometric motifs (main drawing — 'chuchabo'), without strict symmetry.

When fired, clay receives shades from pale pink to dark gray. The traditional pottery kiln (chara) is a two-tiered stone structure with a dome, forming a single complex with the surrounding buildings.

The craft developed significantly in the 17th–18th centuries. In 1928, the industrial collective farm was organized on its basis; in 1936, the artel was transformed into the ceramics workshop of the Makhachkala combine of artistic products.

Balkhar ceramics, Dagestan

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