Rishtan Ceramics - Rustam Usmanov
Silk Road Collections
Rustam Usmanov lives in Rishtan, a small town located in Uzbekistan. It is situated south of the lush Fergana Valley between Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. It is one of the oldest centers of the ceramic arts in Central Asia. The decorative and applied art of hand-painted ceramics in the area dates back to the 8th century. Many potters' families of modern Rishtan can trace their history from noted medieval potters of Bukhara and Samarkand. The history is still being unearthed, but legend has it that pottery production first arrived via the Silk Road as an attempt to imitate Chinese Porcelain. The blue color that Rishtan Ceramics is so famous for, was developed in the 14th - 16th centuries during the peak ceramic production period. This was the era of delicate porcelain-like products, known as Kashin in the archeological literature. The color blue was added to ceramics in the 16th century, an inspiration derived from Chinese porcelain.
The Uzbek people continue to produce and make wide use of ceramics today. All ornamented ceramics are not only utilitarian, but are an integral part of home decor. There are old customs associated with hand-painted ceramics from Uzbekistan. For example, when a girl gets married, her relatives bring her a gift one or two days before the wedding: 6 porcelain cups or 2 or 3 teapots and a pair of plates. We can also do special orders.
Present your gift along with some fascinating history.
What makes Rustam Usmanov's work and Rishtan hand-made ceramics in general so special is the rich, free form style of ornamentation and the unique blue color. Rustam Usmanov's ceramics are all hand-made with natural clays and pigments. Under a thin layer of transparent glaze, elegant floral patterns in shades of turquoise or ultramarine blue cover the outer and inner surface of plates, bowls, teapots, cups, vases and more. Topics for paintings are usually taken from local surroundings or from styles handed down from generation to generation. Classical themes include stylized motifs of wild flowers and herbs, blooming bushes and pomegranite fruit. This combination of artistry, color and glaze make Rustam Usmanov’s work and Rishtan pottery and ceramics unforgettable.
State support, designed to develop and nurture the handicrafts of the area have helped craftsmen to gain a position they deserve in the ethnic culture of Uzbekistan. To this end the "Association of Craftsmen of Uzbekistan (Hunarmand)" was established. There are branches in all the regions as well as Rishtan. Over 1000 registered craftsmen are now working there. Rishtan ceramics are in great demand all over Uzbekistan and worldwide. You can find examples in all the major tourist centers in this country. The truly artistic peices can only be found at the artists' home, crafts exhibitions, or at the galleries and shops that operate in alliance with certain craftsmen.
Silk Road Collections is proud to represent Rustam Usmanov, Master Ceramist from Rishtan, Uzbekistan. He is the only ceramist in Rishtan to have gotten a special education at the Tashkent Institute of Theatrical Arts at the Department of Industrial Drawing. Upon graduation, he continued his education as a student of masters Khakimdjon Sattorov and Ibragim Kamilov. Rustam, master of painting ("usto nakkosh"), is a top class professional able to use a variety of glazing techniques.
Usmanov participates in archeological expeditions and is on a mission to research, preserve and restore the lost techniques, ornaments and patterns of traditional Uzbek ceramics. He is employed by the Uzbekistan government and is the only one allowed to restore and repair old ceramics antiquity in the country.
Rustam Usmanov initiated an open-museum workshop in his home. People travel all over the world to particpate, visit and purchase his one-of-a-kind peices. His works are displayed in the State Museum of Arts of Uzbekistan, Fergana Regional Musuem of Local Lore, the Academy of Arts of Uzbekistan, The State Hermitage and Museum of Ethnography of St. Petersburg, Museum of Arts of Peoples of the Orient in Moscow as well as in numerous private museums and collections abroad.
Please visit our Accessories Collection to view fine examples of hand-made and painted porcelain, and enamel decorative ware as well as hand-embroidered arts. We also represent Ulla Darni and her fabulous hand painted chandeliers and sconces.