Manipuri Black Stone Pottery
The village of Longpi in Manipur, Northern India, is well known for its age old stone pottery.
The raw materials used, are weathered rock and serpentine rock only available in Longpi. The two rocks are crushed to a powder and mixed with water to form a clay-like consistence. The dull brown mixture is kneaded the entire day and flattened on a wooden board. Every item is shaped by hand with the help of molds and tools. Once the shaped clay is dried, it is taken to an open bonfire and heated for 5 to 7 hours at temperatures over 1200 degrees centigrade. The pottery is taken out when still hot and scrubbed with a local leaf known as the manchee, giving it a smooth finish and nice shine.
Longpi pottery can be used for direct cooking over gas and is microwave and dishwasher safe. The raw materials used in the pottery are completely natural and no chemicals are used, ensuring that food prepared in them does not have any adverse health effects.