As the name suggests, it is a hobby in which a person decorates clay pots and vases in various ways. It is a very interesting hobby as the results are often quite diverse (from what you expected!) and creative. One does not even need to learn it from any one nor are there any hard and fast rules to be followed. This hobby is as old as the art of pottery itself and nowadays it is gaining momentum and one can see various artisans selling painted pots on the roadsides. What is best about this hobby is that one need not learn it from anyone, as all it needs is creativity and, of course, some pots.
Pot painting is not very expensive as most of the things needed such as clay pots, vases, paints, brushes, ribbon, tooth picks, macaroni, thread, stencils, plaster of Paris, glitter (or whatever else strikes your imagination) are mostly available at home. Some things, however, such as spray paints (which are a wee bit costly), clay pots and vases (you can even use the ones in your garden) and enamel paints and, if you need, dust (which comes in different colours such as silver, gold, bronze) etc. needs to be brought from the shops. These things can be bought from hardware shops or any arts and crafts store.
What to do now
Good question! Once you get hold of these things the options are endless. You can make miniature drawings on pots and colour them, do collage work, try the thread, stamp effect (which can be made by taking a long piece of thread rolling it in dust mixed with turpentine oil (mati ka tail) which can then be applied on to the pot), drip paint on the pot to create funky designs which is called the dripping effect, make the marble effect, decorate a cut work pot with laces and ribbons (which make excellent lamps), do stencil work on the vases and then fill them up with rice etc., make things out of Plaster of Paris and stick them on the pot with glue or you can even put some plain bajri mixed with paint onto it and sprinkled with glitter to give it a shimmering effect!!! You can even mix a lot of different effects together. (After all, it is about being creative!)
Tips and tricks
One very good and time proven advice while painting any stuff is to always wear an apron and cover your working area or else it'll only flare up your mom's temper. Also while working with spray paints always keep them as much away from your face as possible as most of them are toxic. After using enamel paint, the brushes usually get stiff and become useless. One good trick is to dip them in turpentine oil (mati ka tail) for some time, which makes them as good as new. The same can be used for removing enamel paint stains from floors (although unfortunately it doesn't work on clothes!). Also while sticking objects on the pots use white glue instead of the others as it holds fast. Once a pot breaks, it's gone, but fixing the pieces together with a paste of Plaster of Paris does restore them sometimes.
After having finished decorating a pot one gets a great sense of satisfaction and pleasure which is far better than any gift. These clay pots and vases not only decorate your house but they are also excellent gifts for people of all ages. Also if you are interested in other hobbies such as dry flower arrangement, you can arrange those flowers in these pots too. And then who doesn't like to be appreciated (and believe me, a single good, original pot brings a lot of attention and appreciation). Apart from all this you can also hold exhibitions, take part in various competitions etc. and win gifts, money and get different ideas.
So the next time you feel bored, don't just sit around but pick up some clay pots and then let you imagination do the rest. I can guarantee that you won't regret it.