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Making Pottery – Phase 3 – Polishing

After a pot is dry, it is scraped smooth using a small tool. Potters have used small pieces of gourd or small stones to smooth the sides. Today, pieces of eyeglass lens, wooden spoons, or the tops of tobacco tins are often employed.

Once smooth, the potter uses a wet stone called a “polishing stone” to finish the pot. The stone is kept wet as it is moved quickly over the surface of the vessel. Polishing stones are special and are closely guarded by each potter.

Once polished, a slip of fine, watery clay is applied and the pot is polished again. This layering continues until the potter determines that the slip is the proper depth. The pot is then set aside to dry.

Burnishing Pots - 01

The picture below is set up so you can zoom in or out, and turn it for different views: