A potter uses a maize cob (bledjukaan in Nafaanra) to smooth the surface of clay jar body that she is molding by a draw-and-drag (direct pull) technique. Beginning with a lump of moist clay, she has drawn the clay upward and outward, thinning the walls as she works. Here she moves clockwise around the stump that holds the palette (kpankpa in Nafaanra) on which the jar is being formed as she draws the maize cob up, pulling it towards her body. Bondakile, October, 1982.
A standing potter molds the body of a clay jar using a draw-and-drag (direct pull) technique. Here she uses a flat metal spatula to smooth the now-formed jar's exterior surface. She places the edge of her tool at the neck and makes downward strokes to create a smooth surface on the moist clay. As she works, she moves around the stump that supports the palette (kpankpa in Nafaanra) on which the jar is being formed. Bondakile, October, 1982.
A potter uses a metal spatula as she forms the neck area of clay jar which she has shaped using a draw-and-drag (direct pull) technique. The striations on the body of the jar were created by a maize cob (bledjukaan in Nafaanra) which she used to shape and smooth the pot's wall. These will be smoothed away as she continues to form the pot. She moves around the stump on which the pot rests as she works. Bondakile, October, 1982.
A potter's tools are laid out for view. Sitting on a well-worn clay-smeared grinding stone are two maize cobs (left; bledjukaan in Nafaanra), half of a seed pod from a tree (jenge in Nafaanra), and a spatula (unknown material). An enamel-ware pot holds several water-worn pebbles, several of which also sit in front of the grindstone. Pebbles (gbeliͻ in Nafaanra) are used to burnish the surface or make decorations on the pot's surface. In front of the grinding stone are two iron rings or "bracelets." The one with a wide flat side (gbooroo in Nafaanra) is used to scrape and thin the pot's walls after they have been allowed to dry. The other can be used to decorate pots. A small clay bowl holds water and a piece of cloth used to moisten and smooth the surface of the pot after it is formed. Dorbour, 1994.
Clay cooking pots (sro chͻ in Nafaanra) stacked at the Bondoukou market awaiting sale. Women have brought these pottery jars from potting villages in Banda (e.g., Dorbour) and the surrounding region (e.g. Bondakile). Bondoukou, Côte d’Ivoire, 1994.
Though potters work individually when they make clay pots, they help each other when they fire their pots. In the foreground are the ashes left by earlier fires, and in the background women tend to ongoing bonfires. Stacks of firewood are visible in the background. Adadiem, 1994.
A woman stacks clay grinding bowls on top of wood in preparation for a bonfire firing. The bowls are placed to ensure even exposure to the heat of the bonfire. She will place additional fuel on top of the bowls before lighting the fire. Adadiem, 1994.
In order to transport clay pots by motor vehicle, they must be carefully packed and padded. Here, blackened clay grinding bowls packed in grass have arrived in Techiman market from potting villages in Banda. Techiman, 1994.