RISHTAN – Ceramist Centre of Fergana Valley
General information about Rishtan
Rishtan is a small town located in the Fergana valley, with a population of around 32 thousand people. Tajik and Uzbek are the principal languages spoken in this region. The distance between the Fergana and Rishtan is roughly 50 km. Throughout history, the inhabitants of Rishtan town have always been excellent craftsmen very skilled in pottery. In fact, travelers who come to visit this town often want to watch the process of making ceramic products! Rishtan ceramics have a history dating back to the seventh century. Nearly all the residents of Rishtan were craftsmen at the end of XIX and at the beginning of XX centuries. In 1920, 30 small craft workshops founded the Rishtan Art Ceramics Factory. Currently, about 2,000 ceramists are working in the manufacture of five million products a year with a mixture of modern technology and local engineering.
Rishtan school of pottery
The rich decoration, characterized by blue, is one of the unique factors in the Rishtan school of pottery. The special blue glaze “ishkor” is made of mineral pigments and mountain ash plants. Craftsmen create masterpieces of art by adding red clay which can be found in this land only. The artisans transfer the knowledge of their professional dominance from parents to children.
Where to visit in Rishtan
Tourists can visit pottery workshops to observe the artisans at work and take part in their working processes. The magnificent works of Rishtan craftsmen such as “lagan”- “big plate”, “kosa”-“bowl”, and “piyola”-“cup” are estimated to be unique examples of pottery, even at famous international exhibitions due to their excellent “ishkor” decorations. Add to above mentioned the fact that, the shopping centers of Rishtan offer everything including many types of Uzbek traditional dishes, and you can sculpt, design, and have food at a local workshop.
Fans of history and archaeology are suggested to visit the Sohibi Hidoya cemetery. The remaining of an ancient settlement is preserved here. The only korichona of all that was once built in Central Asia is preserved here.
Religious attractions (ziyarat) and sights of Ristan excursion:
- Khazrat Khizir;
- Khoja Ilgor Mosque (XIX century);
- Khoja Rushnoy;
- Rishtan ceramic workshops;
- Tosh kelinchak