onta yaki

The next destination was Onta in Hita, Ooita (I'm not meaning to rhyme!). They have a beautiful pottery village in the mountains and what's fascinating about them is their strong tradition and sense of community in their making business.
There are 10 pottery families in the village. They dig clay together locally and shares it equally. After drying the clay they pound it into powder using the power of stream in the brook running through the village.
It takes about three weeks to get fine powder clay with these pounders working days and nights. The fine clay goes into a long pool of slip and here comes village women's business. They stir and sieve the slip from a long pool into round pools to get rid of lumps of clay and sand. Only fine clay goes into the round pool and they leave it overnight. The next day they get rid of water in the round pool and put more slip from a long pool. They repeat this every day.
Once they get certain amount of clay sinking at the bottoms of round pools they take it out to dry. When it's sunny and warm they dry it in front of their house but when cold and wet they use a kiln for this. (clay on the kiln roof, in the picture.) And when the clay is ready it's village men's business.

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