While I was off doing research in Thailand, I was lucky enough to visit Jim Thompson’s silk farm and see a small demonstration of traditional pottery making. The way this woman made pottery is the way archaeologists think people have been making pottery in Southeast Asia for thousands of years.
This woman learned to make pottery from her mom and she said it was a dying art; none of her children knew how to do this.
There’s more photos (and video!) after the jump.
Here is a photo of the different materials used to make the pottery. There’s a (local) raw clay source, which is then tempered with broken up bits of fired clay and rice husks.
The pot is then shaped by hand and using these tools- a paddle and anvil. The paddles have designs carved on them, and when she uses them to make the pots the leave an impression in the clay (see the example on the clay lump below).
Below are finished and fired versions that were for sale!
Below is a quick and dirty video I put together (shot with my digital camera) showing some of the different steps to make this pottery.
Interested in learning more about Southeast Asian Ceramics? Check out these links: