Community Potters, India

Community Potters, India

Our short coffee cups are made by a fair trade pottery that employs around 60 men and women in southeastern India. The pottery is at the heart of the community and recently funded the building of a primary school for 350 local children.

Tamil Nadu, meaning 'Land of the Tamils', lies at the southernmost tip of the Indian penninsula. It is known for its rich tradition of literature, art, music and dance, and has one of the highest literacy rates in India. Tamil Nadu is mostly dependent on monsoon rains for water and is prone to droughts when the monsoons fail.


Clay is a very fine-grained rock that occurs naturally in the earth. Depending on the metal oxides, minerals and organic matter in the soil where it's dug, clay can be various colours from white and dull grey to brown and deep orange-red. All Decorator's Notebook pottery is oven, dishwasher and microwave safe.

How is it made?

Our coffee cups are made from local clay that is blended by hand. The clay is kneaded to remove air bubbles then thrown on a potters wheel, a skill that takes many years to perfect. Each mug is glazed by hand before the pottery is loaded into a traditional kiln. Wood firing gives each piece an individual patina.

How your purchase improves lives

This thriving fair trade project provides training and employment opportunities for members of an economically weak rural community. Thanks to the success of the pottery, profits have been invested in building school in the village for 350 pupils, a mix of the children of pottery employees and other children who live in the surrounding area.

“Before, I did odd jobs in the village and did not know my income from one day to the next. The pottery gave me training and now I have worked here for seven years. My children go to school and college, which makes me happy” Jyothi

View other products by these artisans

Image credits: New Overseas Traders, Distra, Praveenpn4u