technical tuesday: Nixi Artisan Potters

The following is an excerpt text from “Nixi Artisan Potters” via Kathy Erteman’s website. She has had a number of experiences working with contemporary Nixi Artisan Potters.

Please read more of her writing here and find links to further resources and research – and make sure to check out her ceramic work as well.

“The Nixi Potters live in Tandui Village, nestled in a bucolic valley on the Tibetan plateau at 10,000 feet in Yunnan, China. The city of Shangri-la, a tourist destination famous for fresh air, Chinese herbs and Tibetan Culture, is a half hour drive away. The villagers are artisans and farmers, the heirs to a 1200-year-old tradition of pottery production threatened with extinction during the Chinese Cultural Revolution after which time only three artisan families remained in the village. In the ensuing decades the numbers of Nixi potters has steadily increased.  There are now 120 artisan families in the village. 
Traditional Nixi pottery is utilitarian black ware with decorative porcelain inlay and carving, used by all Tibetan households for cooking, and cultural and religious ceremonies. This deep tradition of pottery production is the social glue that provides community cohesion and economic opportunity for the entire village. Training of young artisans is done exclusively through apprenticeship with one of the village pottery masters. Apprentices begin by creating their own set of tools from rhododendron root, horn and leather. Apprenticeship is a slow process yet many of the younger generation are now making this choice.”

Below is a video from Youtube demonstrating some of the traditional techniques of these artisans.


technical tuesday: How to re-glaze your pottery with Earth Nation Pottery

This video was requested by one of you dirty potters. when re-glazing your pottery remember few things.

1. the reason glaze dries fast when at bisque is because the pores are still open. fully glazed and matured pottery will not have open pores so your really just putting glaze on top of glaze and hoping it will combine with the other glaze when it reaches temp.

2. because of reason #1 you should save a little more time to re-glaze your pots then just regular glazing them.

3. once dry it will smudge very easily , be careful

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