"How I make pots like this"
-- Mai Esinath Tobaiwa, RUDO Potter
I make pots like my grandmother taught me.
I collect the clay from the river banks. Then spread it on a plain surface and grind it to dust so that the clay is clean and good to be mixed with water into mud.
With bits of mud in my hands I start molding the pot, building it up in a series of coils. How do I get the right shape? The shape is in my head and the mubuzo (a wooden shaping tool) in my hand.
Once the pot is molded, I pattern out the designs using a sharp tool, like a bone awl.
The paint we use, silver and reddish, is obtained from graphite rocks which are ground to dust. I apply the paint with my own fingers while the pot is still wet.
Next I let it dry in a cool place for two days. When dry, I smooth it with a rounded river pebble. Then, let it dry some more in the sun. When completely dry it can be fired.
I dig a hole in the ground, place the pot and tree bark and grass on top. The burning ashes and charcoal will fall on it and in just three hours the pot is cooked. Then I just let it cool down.
The design I use is typical from my place, Chivi, in Masvingo province.
At home we use these pots to cook relish and sadza, store milk or brew beer on special occasions for our family and friends.