Ceramics, also known as pottery, can be divided into two main types: earthenware, for which the raw material is made from soil, and porcelain, made from stone powder. For earthenware, the soil is mixed well with water to make a smooth clay, which is then shaped into dishes, pots, vases or other items and then placed in a high-temperature oven called a kiln. The same process is done for porcelain, except the stone powder is evenly mixed after being crushed into finer pieces.
There are many types of pottery because each type developed differently in various parts of Japan, with the craft often bearing the name of the region where it was made.


  • 1 Preparing clay

    First, select high-quality soil or stone, and then make it into wet clay.

  • 2 Forming shapes

    A potter's wheel is used to shape dishes, pots and vases.
    Other common methods are using coils of clay that are layered to create forms or building up thin slabs of clay into three-dimensional objects.

  • 3 Bisque firing

    Unglazed pieces of pottery are fired at temperatures of between 600 and 950℃ (1112 and 1742℉), which hardens them and makes them easier to glaze.

  • 4 Glazing

    The surface of the pottery is coated with a glaze which after firing, serves the purpose of decorating and hardening the piece.

  • 5 Kiln firing

    The length of time and temperature of firing depend on the piece's clay or glaze type. After the ceramic has been fired and hardened, it is complete.

Artistic techniques

  • "What Are Traditional Crafts? -A Guidebook to Seeing, Learning, and Enjoying-" Edited by the Japan Kogei Association Eastern Branch. Published by Unsodo
    Reference artworks

Well-known crafts