Rustam Usmanov


Address: Fergana region, Rishtan, st. B. Ar-Roshidonia, 230
Contacts: +998916812391, +998945587111, +998972717445, +998734521585

Note: There is also a guest house offering accommodation and pottery making workshops.



Ceramic craft has an interesting and complex history, telling about distant times, about the hands of ancient masters. The remains of ancient ceramic products reveal to us the features of the development of one of the industries of Central Asia, the cultural and economic relationships of cities and regions, the tastes, culture and art of the Central Asian peoples. Therefore, ceramics is of great interest as one of the most valuable sources on the history of Central Asia.

Rishtan ceramics: Plates

Scientists carefully study all the materials about ceramics, ceramic samples of all times that are necessary for archaeologists and are concrete evidence of the life of cities and villages, numerous analyses of these fragments, and grains of information from written sources. Step by step, researchers penetrate the ancient secrets of a kind of creative friendship between fire and clay.

The birth of a vessel is a complex, time-consuming process. Already ancient masters put a lot of effort into mastering the production of ceramics, accumulating experience and knowledge for centuries.

The most ancient clay vessels found in Central Asia were not distinguished by their beauty and technical qualities. They were brittle, water-tight. Over time, the skill of potters improves; to be found dating back to the 4th-2nd millennia BC already indicate certain achievements in the field of this craft. The masters had already developed a technology for firing raw materials to some extent. They selected the necessary clays. Processed them, received the thinnest clay masses with a large foreign sprinkler. Sand, quartz, and carbonate rocks were used as irrigation systems. Prepared from waxed clay masses, they had certain technical qualities. Kitchen utensils were made from these clays. Already in the Bronze Age in Central Asia, there were quite complex designs of pottery stoves. The character of the shard indicated that the quality of firing products in these furnaces was quite high.

Significant achievements were noted in molding. This is evidenced by the increasing variety of shapes and fairly smooth vessel walls. A device for forming a potter's wheel appears.

Already in ancient times, certain advances were made in the development of ceramic craft and, above all, in the technique of forming and using angob, as well as in the technology of processing raw materials, ornamentation, and firing. The range of ceramic products increases significantly, their number increases, and forms become more diverse. The vessels become thinner walls. Researchers believe that all the dishes of Central Asia of the ancient period were made on a circle with a fairly fast and smooth rotation, which made it possible to form thin even walls and profiles.

Ceramic products were decorated with relief plaques, fine engraving, and a stamp. The engraved ornament was obtained with a wooden or bone point. The simplest stamped drawing in the form of a relief circle was applied with a hollow stick.

Angob - this is the thinnest clay mass, prepared most often from colored. Red or light-burning clays applied to the surface of the finished vessel. It covered a significant part of the manufactured dishes. After firing, the vessel covered with angob received a bright red, red-brown, orange-red dense smooth surface. The layer of colored clay on the vessel after firing turned into a dense beautiful, fairly smooth film and significantly improved the technological quality of the vessel, making its walls more resistant.

No less important was the firing - the final process of making pottery. Ancient pottery stoves in Central Asia were built taking into account a number of important laws of heat engineering, which the potters came to on their own experience. Firing was performed at a high temperature, as evidenced by the color and quality of the shard of the finished product, the evenness of the firing, and the bright color of the angob.

In the 9th-11th centuries, ceramic craft became one of the most necessary and widespread industries. There are a number of major centers known for their unique ceramic schools-Samarkand, Nisa, Merv, and Shash.

The bright colors of the painting, the richness of colors and ornamental motifs, it has constantly attracted the attention of archaeologists, ethnographers, art historians, technologists. Medieval ceramics are very diverse in their appearance, character, and purpose. These are wonderful bowls and dishes covered with a brilliant, bright glaze, slender, tall pitchers of various shapes, beautifully ornamented with relief ornaments of huma, cauldrons.

The most striking moment of the ceramic craft of the 9th-11th centuries were glazed products. Glazed, as a rule, open forms - bowls, plates, dishes. The glaze on the products was bright, transparent, colorless, slightly yellowish or colored green. The paint of the painting was green, which was based on copper oxide; red, prepared from ochre clays; brown, prepared on iron oxides and prepared on the basis of a combination of iron and manganese oxides; yellow - containing antimony oxides, marsh - chromium oxide. Paints, as a rule, were prepared from a mixture of coloring metals with clay.

Glaze is a vitreous substance, a complex chemical compound; usually a mixture of silicon oxides with oxides of various substances.

Preparation of glazes and paints for underglaze painting required appropriate knowledge and experience. Special devices were used for grinding and mixing paints, and the thinnest sieves, such as silk, were used for sifting. Roasting played a special role in the manufacture of glazed products.

The master had to strictly take into account the temperature not only of the potsherd firing, but also the temperature of the firing of paints and glazes, which sometimes were different. Even a small miscalculation of the master could lead to damage to the glaze, paint.


Rishtan ceramics

The next bright stage in the historical development of ceramics. Especially in the development of glazed ceramics, is the period of I4-I5 centuries. Bowls, dishes, jugs of various shapes and types, closed round vessels were covered with alkaline paint, transparent colorless glaze, very beautiful products with transparent blue, turquoise and black underglaze painting.

We know very little about Central Asian ceramics of the I7-I8 centuries, although it is known that the masters sought to continue the best traditions of their predecessors.

Very diverse, but perhaps too bright was the pottery of the 19th century. Which is also not fully understood yet. There are products with painted green glaze, green-yellow painting and engraved pattern, products in bright blue and blue tones with an alkaline glaze. One of the most famous ceramic centers of this period was the village of Rishtan. The products of Rishtan potters in the 19th-early 20th century were very famous, especially made in cobalt blue and turquoise-blue tones. No less interesting was the Rishtan pottery of the 19th century, known as "Chinni" and giving the impression of porcelain. It revived the lost tradition of making a deaf opaque tin glaze.


Rishtan ceramics: painted   

The art of Rishtan ceramics was born in ancient times. The history of its origin, covered with many legends, has yet to be discovered by archaeologists. A small former village in the South of the Ferghana valley, half way from Ferghana to Kokand, on the border of modern Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan, Rishtan is known today as the city of masters, one of the largest centers in Central Asia for the production of unique glazed ceramics.

Having existed since ancient times the art of baked clay the citizens of Rishtan have introduced their bright and original features. The traditions of many of them that still existed at the beginning of the twentieth century were lost by the end of the century.

Rishtan's finely carved pottery forms are typical of the whole region and reflect the stability of the tradition. They are distinguished by the elegance of free painting, the richness of floral ornaments and a special color that sounds all shades of lapis lazuli and turquoise under a thin layer of transparent glaze.

Rishtan ceramics cannot be considered in isolation from the Ferghana and regional traditions. Much is said about its connections with the traditions of other centers of pottery in the Ferghana valley - Kokand, Namangan, Gurumsaray, and Andijan.

The production of painted ceramics in the Ferghana oasis known from the bronze age, according to legend, still existing among the masters, an ancient city of potters was in one of the old districts of modern Rishtan (Roshidon)- Chandigarh mahalla, near Mazar Sahibi Hidaya. Some legends relate its appearance to the beginning of the XII century, and the development of the craft is associated with masters who came from Bukhara and Samarkand. According to others, at the beginning of the XIV-XV century, Rishtan masters from the makhalla of Dahbed moved to Samarkand, began to produce painted dishes there and participate in the design of architectural complexes. The street on which they lived Rishtan masters, still called Dobeki. Relations between the inhabitants of Rishtan and Samarkand, Kanibadam and Ur-tube have been preserved.

The era of Temur was marked by rapid growth of cities and high achievements in the field of architecture. It was enriched by the inclusion of colored glazes in its decor and the appearance of the first tiles. Household items were richly ornamented, the demand for ceramic tableware increased, which led to the search for cheaper ways to produce it and the emergence of new pottery centers.

Since the IX century in Central Asia, a variety of glazing techniques came into use. Was mastered the technology of brilliant tin glaze, as well as land and ishkor alkaline glaze with a matte finish. Ceramics with ishkor glaze became widespread in Shash , the main exporter of pottery products, and in Sogd, as imported or local products.

The development of pottery production in Rishtan was facilitated by the availability of local raw materials. Almost all clays and dyes suitable for the production of ceramic dishes, except lapis lazuli and cobalt, were extracted by Rishtan masters on the spot and in the nearest areas. In Rishtan itself, there is a reddish clay-khoki Surkh. "Rishtan potters believe that their clay is so good that it does not need to be pre-processed and aged at all." To make chinni dishes, special clays were used from various places in the Ferghana valley - Chimion red, Uchkurgan yellow or white. Necessary to produce glazes components brought in from the surrounding areas; quartz - oak tosis Plow or Gorumara. OK godfather of Sibron. For the production of angob, fat clays from Isfara are used. Angren or Kizil-kyya. In the past, quartz and potash for watering products were bought ready - made from the Kirghiz, and mineral dyes – from merchants in Kokand. Here, in the vicinity, herbs were collected for the production of potash ishkor glaze. It was she who revealed the amazingly deep and juicy emerald-turquoise color peculiar to Rishtan ceramics. The production technology of ishkor glaze is labor-intensive and capricious. You should strictly observe a certain time for collecting herbs that have already gained juiciness-kirk bugin, choroynak or guloby, whose ash is rich in sodium, potassium, and magnesium oxides. Collect them before frost, without damaging the roots of plants. It is necessary to observe a mode of decay of the grass. Clean the ash from impurities, add quartzite or white sand.

Rishtan ceramics.

Pottery production in Rishtan has passed all stages of development from home pottery to modern production. By the end of the 19th century, Rishtan had become one of the largest centers in Central Asia for the production of glazed dishes. According to ethnographers, " at the end of the XIX-beginning In the 20th century, there were 80 potteries in Rishtan, which employed 300 people. The workshop was run by a master and his family, and in some cases by one or two apprentices. During the season, which lasted 6-7 months, I500-I700 products were produced." This was the period of formation of shop production, in which each master specialized in one of the types of products. There was a strict division between the two main groups of Rishtan craftsmen who made non-poured and glazed dishes. One represented the kuzagars and tanuri, they made great vessels for household purposes – internal migrants ' settlements around, khums and other kitchen utensils. The other group consisted of tovokchi master the manufacture of a wide variety of painted glazed pottery. Each craft association had their charter risola and its elected elder - an elder. There was some rivalry between the kuzagars and tovokchi, as the kuzagars considered themselves real Kulol potters - the main keepers of old traditions and the founders of pottery." Both groups of masters of compact living, each in his quarter: the kuzagars - in the mahalla, kesegaran, tavakchi - in the mahalla, Chandigarh. These ancient names reflect the milestones of the history of Rishtan and its inhabitants. At the beginning of the twentieth century, there were 100 houses of craftsmen in the Chinnigaron quarter, mainly engaged in the production of chinni earthenware. The craft of masters was learned in the course of a long apprenticeship. Learning the skill of kuzagars took place in a shorter time than from the masters tavakchi. But they rarely allowed outsiders to join their craft. The solemn rite of initiation into the master anjuman required the presence of numerous members of the Guild Association. Have tavakchi was going to anjuman up to 600 people. Pilaf took up to a hundred kilograms of rice, in addition, it was necessary to make good gifts to the aksakals. Not all young masters could afford it. They spent a long time as apprentices or went to work in other cities and villages. The elders of the Guild strictly observed that masters who did not pass the rite of initiation did not open their workshops in Rishtan.

By the middle of the XIX century, the main stylistic features of the Rishtan school of pottery were formed, which have been preserved to this day. The earliest type of pottery Rishtan masters consider turquoise-copper-Kabudi Misin, covered with deaf watering. Then became popular exquisite products made of earthenware shards-chinni, with a fine lace painting. The restoration of this technique, forgotten since the middle ages, is addressed by Rishtan masters to the brothers-potters Usto Abduljalol and Usto Abdujamil.

Less widely in Rishton dishes, painted with colored engobe under lead glaze, Golden-yellow or greenish-yellow color. In the early twentieth century, its production was satpaty he Usto, Usto Taskula.

The names of many Rishtan potters of this time, who perfectly mastered the secrets of glaze and the talent of brush painting, have been preserved in the memory of the masters and were recorded by researchers-artist V. Razvadovsky, ethnographers M. S. Andreev and E. M. Pevereva and master ceramist M. K. Rakhimov. the most famous among them are Usto Abdulla-chinnipaz, who made tiles for the Khudayarkhan Palace in Kokand in 1860-1870, Usto Tokhta, and Usto Madamin Akhun-chinnipaz.

At the end of the XIX century, the products of Rishtan masters were exported to all-Russian exhibitions. In I900, they were successfully exhibited at the world exhibition in Paris. Rishtan ceramics were compared with the best European majolica and considered able to compete with them.

The works of many masters of this time were included in the museum collections of Uzbekistan and other countries, but mostly they are represented by anonymous authors.

Many changes occurred in the Rishtan fishery during the twentieth century. At the very beginning, unable to compete with imported factory products, the shop of kuzagars collapsed, and the production of expensive types of tableware decreased. In I918 year of craft workshops tavakchi created the first gang of potters "Chandigarh". It employed 70 ceramists of various qualifications. In 1960, the artel became part of the Rishtan ceramic factory.

Throughout the twentieth century, the Rishtan pottery industry has passed many tests, in which there were periods of rise and fall. Many pottery schools in Uzbekistan have gone into oblivion or are on the verge of extinction. Rishtan stood the test of time and by the end of the twentieth century regained its reputation as the best center for the production of artistic ceramics in Uzbekistan. The secret of the stability of the Rishtan school is in the continuous connection of several generations of masters, when the work of the father is shared by the sons.

The Guild feuds, burdensome rites, statutes, and "patron saints" of the craft were left in the past. But still the difficult craft of potters is learned in the process of apprenticeship and many years of practice under the watchful eye of senior masters. Any undertaking and no single event in the life of Rishtan masters is not complete without the participation of respected elders Usto Ibragim Kamilov, Babagana Nishanov. Khakimjan Sattorov. Ibragim Kamilov (I928) people's artist of Uzbekistan is the representative of the seventh generation of the hereditary dynasty of potters. He studied under his father, Usta Kamil, and his brothers.

The famous master of chinipas and savedas, 60 years working in Rishtan ceramic factory, one of the best masters, who perfectly owned molding, painting and various technologies for making glazes and Kashin. Since the I977's, he has been a regular participant in folk art exhibitions in Uzbekistan and abroad. In I973 were awarded the title "people's artist of Uzbekistan," in I983 were awarded the title "laureate of the State prize of the USSR", in 1996 he became a fellow of UNDP, UNESCO "Usto – shogird" in 1998, the first masters were awarded the title "people's master of Uzbekistan". The master's works are included in the collections of the State Museum of art of Uzbekistan, the Directorate of art exhibitions of the Academy of arts of Uzbekistan, and the Ferghana regional Museum of local lore, the Museum of Oriental art in Moscow, the Museum of Ethnography in St. Petersburg, and other foreign collections. At present, as in the past, most of the population of Rishtan is engaged in pottery: someone at the factory and more often at home, sometimes combining both. As before, many houses of ceramists have workshops with storage for clay and kilns for firing.

Sh. Yusupov, A. Isakov, A. Nazirov, M. Saidov, R. Usmanov, And M. Tajialiev work most interestingly among modern nakkosh masters. By perfecting various techniques of brush painting, they achieve true beauty and artistry both in the compositional solution of their subjects, and in the tonal transitions of a restrained color scheme. Each of them has its own individual handwriting: powerful, active, confident in concise plots in M. Saidov; artistic, sometimes virtuosically playful in A. Isakov, the "heroes" of whose plots-kumgans, fish, almond fruits seem to dance on the plane of dishes. The compositions of R. Usmanov are diverse in mood, strict in rhythms, classically verified and scrupulously technical are his paintings of small plates-lycopcha, reproducing ancient Iranian ornaments. R. Usmanov's work combines knowledge of folk traditions and high professionalism. He is one of the few Rishtan masters who received special artistic education. The paintings in the works of A. Nazirov are equally diverse in nature, combining the naive simplicity of unpretentious flower patterns with the originality of compositional structures. In the works of M. Tajialiev, the luxurious floral decor seems to spill out beyond the contour lines of the flat bottom of the bowls.

At the end of the I990's, many Rishtan craftsmen left the factory and went to work at home. The first cooperative associations of ceramists were created-small enterprises "Usto Abdullo" and "Kulol". State support for the further development of folk art crafts, established by the decree of the President of the Republic, opened up a wide perspective for folk art. The status of folk masters has increased. The main creative core of Rishtan masters united in the Rishtan branch of the Association of Folk Masters of Uzbekistan "Hunarmand".  Alisher Nazirov was elected as the Chairman of the Rishtan branch. Today there are 30 masters in the association; 40-50 of them are permanent participants of exhibitions and fairs. The organization faces many economic and creative challenges. One of them is the creation of its own art salon and ensuring a stable market for Rishtan products. Their biggest dream is to open a Museum of Rishtan pottery, preserve the best works and perpetuate the memory of masters of the past and present, thus continuing the tradition of famous ancestors.

In Rishtan everything breathes history. It is everywhere - in the names of old handcrafter quarters, in the century-old khums and grandfather's tools stored in the houses, in the memory of old Rishtan masters who calculate time and events by the dates of the life of their skilled ancestors - the time of Usto Abdullo, Usto Uzak, Usto mazair, Usto Holmat. The memory of folk masters lives in the wonderful ornaments and forms of Rishtan ceramics created by them, passed down as a precious inheritance from generation to generation. The generous world of beauty and harmony, kindness and warmth is revealed to everyone who comes into contact with the art of Rishtan folk masters. Through the efforts of many generations of folk masters, a deep respect for the traditions of the craft was created a school marked by a bright originality. The modern generation of Rishtan masters can solve the problem of inheritance of traditions and the future fate of their school.



1. M.Aminjanova. E. Saiko "Ceramics, glass and porcelain in Central Asia"

2. Culture and art of ancient Uzbekistan.

3.  M. K. Rakhimov. Artistic ceramics of Rishtan. Tashkent I96I.

4.  Handicrafts in the life of the peoples of Uzbekistan of the XIX-XX centuries. Tashkent           I986

5. E. M. Pisareva Pottery production in Central Asia. I959

6. L. Zhadova. Modern ceramics of folk masters of Central Asia


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