Rishtan Art Ceramics Factory
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Halfway between Kokand and Ferghana is the town of Rishtan, famed for its bright blue and green ceramics, with the unique ishkor glaze. Legend claims the art is over 800 years old, passed down from father to son, using local red clay and natural pigments made from minerals and mountain grasses. In 1920, some 30 small workshops were collectivized onto the present site of the Rishtan Art Ceramics Factory. Two thousand craftsmen and women employ both modern machinery and time-honoured methods to produce over five million items each year. Tourists are welcome to watch as giant balls of clay are shaped down and decorated with elaborate floral designs before glazing and baking in vast furnaces. A showroom sells tea-sets, flower vases, water jugs and lyagan, decorative plov dishes. The factory (and other shops) is one kilometre east of the town centre and bazaar. For a fascinating family workshop, where you can mould clay, paint plates and enjoy some lunch, visit Master Rustam Usmanov down the street