Rustam Usmanov (Master Ceramist from Rishtan)

Rustam Usmanov

Rustam Usmanov

Rustam Usmanov’s art amply reflects the culture of the Fergana valley and the rich ceramic making heritage of Rishtan town, the oldest centre of ceramic art in Central Asia.

Rishtan Large Tile Panel

Rishtan Large Tile Panel

The Usmanov family migrated from Russia to Rishtan to add to Rishtan’s rich tradition of pottery. With Rishtan being situated on the Silk Road, the ancient major East-West trade route, it is thought that Rishtan potters may originally have tried to copy Chinese porcelain, despite the necessary kaolin clay not being locally available. This led them to the discovery of the local Rishtan clay, which more than made up for the absence of the kaolin clay. The Rishtan ceramists say their clay is so good that it does not require preliminary processing and exposure time. Adding to the beauty of the Rishtan ceramics is the ishkor glaze which gives Rishtan pottery its brilliant blue-green glaze, bringing alive the colors of the earth and the sky.

Nisha with Ceramic in Rishtan

Nisha with Ceramic in Rishtan

On graduation from the Tashkent Institute of Theatre and Art, Rustam joined the Rishtan ceramic factory and became its Chief Painting Architect within a year.  It was during his time in the factory that he studied the old Rishtan ceramics through books and museum collections which contained patterns developed by old master ceramists. It helped him enrich his knowledge of earthenware and gradually develop his own original style, freedom of composition and the technological skill of his mastery. The precision of his beautiful paintings and the richness of their pattern themes give a unique, hard-to-reproduce character to each of his works. They are some of the best pieces of Uzbekistan’s decorative art. He derives his inspiration from the vast range of shapes abundant in nature, which include flowers, shapes of urns and teapots, and calligraphy, which is the cornerstone of Uzbek culture. His inventive skills are amply showcased in his collection, which is a sound mix of traditional and modern pieces of art.

Since independence Rustam has set up his own workshop in Rishtan. He is a member of the Art Academy of Uzbekistan, and a winner of the UNESCO Award of Excellence for his blue Rishtan ceramic pottery. His work is displayed in the State Hermitage in Saint Petersburg, and much sought after worldwide.

Please visit our store to check out Rustam’s beautiful ceramic creations for yourself.

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