onta yaki -2

Throwing pots are men's job in Onta. The men do anything that needs physical strength and anything else around it is women's job such as making glazes and glazing. Each family can have only two kick wheels and strictly family male members that throws. They don't take craftsman from outside. If they get only girls in the family she has to marry somebody who is willing to be a husband and potter.
What's unique about their pot is decorating techniques called 'tobi kanna' using soft metal turning tool (but it doesn't curve, it just makes marks you see in the picture), 'uchi hakeme' (brush marks but not strokes, it's created by patting a brush on a plate turning on the wheel), 'yubi kaki' (finger marks) and 'kushi kaki' (comb marks). These techniques are brought by a korean potter about 300 years ago.
The studio is like this, very simple. They have to keep the stove running when cold to prevent cracks in clay. They keep thrown pots until they've got enough to fill the kiln. 5 families use their communal kiln and others have their own. They have a firing every 2 months, which is again their communal work.
These are thrown. It requires such a skill to do this precise job! (I can never do it!) Their signature mark on the back is not their own but their village 'onta' and the village is their identity. But funny enough, the pots from each family has slight difference in the finish and it's enjoyable to really try to find your favourite.
All the materials for making pots is locally resourced, and they have a strong bond in the community. It sounds like a very harmonic and utopian way of life to me...


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