Kolal Engraved Istalifi Bowl
These distinctively turquoise ceramics belong to the Istalifi tradition. Each piece pays homage to Sayyid Mir Kolal, the original potter who settled in Istalif over four hundred years ago.
The small Afghan village of Istalif lies about an hour’s drive from Kabul. It is perched in the foothills of the Hindu Kush, whose tree-covered slopes rise sharply from the river below. Istalif is not only a site of incredible natural beauty, but also home to a distinctive tradition of pottery-making that dates back hundreds of years.
Four hundred years ago the potter Sayyid Mir Kolal, whose surname means potter, settled in Istalif, with its rich clay deposits, abundance of water, and beautiful surroundings. To this day, the potters of Istalif believe they each descend from one of Mir Kolal’s four sons.
Pottery in Istalif is a family affair. From a young age, boys will become apprentices, training with their fathers and uncles after the school day has ended. Women are also involved in the process, applying the distinct turquoise ishkar glaze and engraving the patterns while the men prepare the clay, sit at the potter’s wheel, and stack the traditional kiln.
In Istalif, being a potter is much more than a profession — it is an identity.
Dimensions: 15 cm diameter.
Available singly or in sets of 2.
Ethos: Each purchase provides a dignified work opportunity to artisans in a country affected by war. As well as providing a fair wage, an additional 20% of the proceeds from this purchase will go to the non-profit Turquoise Mountain to help preserve cultural heritage in Afghanistan.
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Handcrafted by an Afghan artisan in the old city of Kabul, supported by an international non-profit based in Afghanistan. Each piece represents the strength, resilience, and creativity of its maker.
About the Collection
Artisan Homewares From Afghanistan
Free shipping above US$50.
Made slow, to last long.
Craftsmanship with a story.