Exploration of Ceramic Production Here is an introduction to the tools used to manufacture ceramics following the production processes shown in the 'Large Dish with an Underglaze of Cobalt-blue Design from the Arita Ware Artisans.' Some of the tools shown are out of date but some of them are still used today.
The large dish, made in the latter part of the Edo period, has been appointed as an important cultural property by Saga Prefecture. It vividly depicts craftsmen working in the production of ceramics.
Manufacturing Tools

image 1.Quarrying
Izumiyama Quarry is shown.
[Tools for quarrying ->]

image 2.Clay making
Porcelain stone is being crushed in a karausu stamper and workers are carrying stone in an 'inyatebo.'
image The pulverized stone is being turned into clay.
[Tools for making clay ->]

image 3.Forming
The artisan at the upper right is shaping a piece on a potter's wheel, the artisan on the left is smoothing another, and the lower one is kneading clay.
[Tools for forming ->]

image 4.Underglaze decoration
Paint used for underglaze drawing is being ground in a stone mortar.
[Tools for underglaze decoration ->]

image 5.Glazing
The woman at the center is glazing the underglaze decorated piece, the man at the inner right is putting pieces out in order to dry them.
[Tools for glazing ->]

image 6.Main firing
The main firing is under way in a climbing kiln (nobori-gama), an artisan is putting firewood onto the fire.
[Tools used for firing ->]

image 7.Overglaze decoration
An artisan is decorating a glazed piece.
[Tools for overglaze decoration]

image 8.Firing after overglaze decoration
Firing is done at a relatively low temperature so that the enamel coating is fixed.
[Tools for firing overglaze enamel-->]

image 9.Inspection and shipping
The persons on the right side are carrying finished products, others are checking them inside the building.
[Tools for inspection and shipping]