1. A thick disc of clay is pressed onto the rembagan, a fired clay platter filled with sand.

2. Next, a fat coil is pressed around the edge of the disc to begin the wall. Working around the coil, applying downwards pressure makes a good bond while fingers squeeze the mass of clay upwards. In this way, wall is thinned and raised to about three times the height of the coil.

3. Wall is then refined and strengthened by stroking to drag some of the clay downwards diagonally against the pinch marks, first around the outside then around the inside.

More coils are added and worked in the same way until the pot is a large wide bowl about 20cm height, which is then left to harden…

4. When clay has stiffened somewhat the pot is lifted onto an upturned wooden mortar. With a coconut husk rib, scrape it with upward diagonal strokes to thin and shape the wall. Now, the pot needs to be circled, moving alternately forwards and backwards, steeping dance-like, and rhythmically scraping outside and inside the wall.

5. As vessel grows taller and wider, the wall becomes quite thin and the soft clay can no longer support the weight of a large coil, rolling the coils on a board is needed so that they are smaller and more even.

5-6 Small coils are pinched onto the moistened edge and stroked downward, then upwards as before.

7. By end of morning, the inward curve of the shoulder is complete. The clay is still quite thin and wet so the whole form ripples with each pass of the rib. The jar needs to dry for a couple of hours before it can take the weight of more clay.

8. To start the last stage, the edge is pinched back and moistened to prepare for the next coil. Another fat coil is needed to start the neck, working as before, by pinching, stroking and scraping to achieve the right shape. An extra strengthening coil is pressed around the inside of the neck join and worked in with both upwards and downwards finger strokes.

9. The rim of the neck is reinforced with coils added to the inside and outside, which are pinched and graded with a bamboo stick to form a thick inwardly sloped lip.

10. Another coil is smoothed onto the outside joint of neck and shoulder and pinched between the fingers for a decorative finish.

11. To complete the jar, the upper part is worked over with a moistened stick, compressing and smoothing the surface.

12. Finally, the water jar is finished.

 

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