Nizamabad ,about 100km north of Varanasi, is a small town situated on the river Tons which feeds several lakes on the outskirts of the town. The entire districts of Azamgarh and Mau in Uttar Pradesh are the geographical areas of Nizamabad Black Pottery. In 18th century, Azamgarh was included in the sirkars of Jaunpur district and Ghazipur in the subah of Allahabad. It was ruled by Mohhabat Khan, popularly known as the Raja of Azamgarh.
Azamgarh is rich in cultural and religious activities as the district lies in the eastern part of Uttar Pradesh. Its most famous craft is its distinctive black clay pottery. Traditional black clay products include religious figures of gods and goddesses, decorative items and utensils.
At Nizamad in Azamgarh district a specialised lustrous black pottery is made. It is rubbed with a special oil and then double fired. Floral and geometric designs are etched on the surface. The block surface with its silvery design has an uncanny resemblance to the bidri metal ware, the matt black of the base offset by the silver sheen of the designs. The deep, black colour is obtained by mixing the local clay with mustard oilseed cake. The silvery ornamentation on the pottery is done by rubbing an amalgam of mercury and tin into the etched and baked patterns on the pots, thereby producing the silvery tracery. The products made include vases, cups and saucers, water jugs, surahis, plates, jars, and flower pots.