A Travellerspoint blog

Pottery Story

From Sergey's workshop.


Nizhniye Tavolgi, December 29th 2014

80 kilometers away from Yekaterinburg now, here we are in Nizhniye Tavolgi. In Google Maps (English version) it's just Tavolgi. I don't know why. The main and only purpose coming here was to see pottery making. I love that.

First, prepare the clay.

Next, crush the clay to remove air pockets. The clay is put between the rollers seen in picture no. 2. Then you collect the output from the slider under the table like in picture no. 3 and then 4.

If I remember correctly, after this point, the clay is kept in a storage for about a week or something.

Boom, boom, smash, smash! That's to ensure no air pockets are left.

This is what I call the material refining process. That big chunk of clay that has been beaten so bad is now going into the square tank.

Inside the tank, the chunk of clay will once again go through a roller.

During the process, any material other than clay would be spitted out into this waste bin.

And here, voila, comes the pure clay, ready to be formed into something beautiful and useful.

But behold! That "material other than clay" can be gold!

I was told that I might find gold on the bottom of this pail, and that would be just common luck. This pail of water is actually used to wet hands while processing the earthenware, because the clay has to stay moist whereas spinning it in high speed makes it dry fast.

Here's where the masterpiece-to-be will be laid.

The wheels that move the process.

The wheels move through electricity power, and you control the speed with your feet by stepping.

The work begins.

Do I need to pose? Aha.

Spin, spin, spin! Rub, rub, rub!

The potter pushes both his hands into the chunk of clay as it spins to create a hole.

And then gently he pulls up the brim while still spinning.

Something useful is already in sight. But the something beautiful part is yet in the process.

These are the make up tools: A piece of sandpaper, a piece of wood, and a fork.

Oops, and a piece of thread also, to cut off the unwanted excessive part post-forming.

A little more touch of beauty is added to the brim by pinching partially on it.

Another example of making.

Next, the work is put on a shelf to dry...

...and go into the oven.

My personal impression:
The pottery workshop I visited in Turkey was many times bigger than this. However, lot of the process was done manually. Most significantly, the spinning. There was no electricity to move the spins. The craftsman had to step his foot up and down exactly like operating the old fashion sewing machine. Here, everything has a button.

Posted by automidori 08:58 Archived in Russia Tagged art village russia potter nevyansk old_believers nizhniye_tavolgi

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