Unwavering dedication to each step of the production process gives birth to gems of Japanese craftsmanship.

The most distinctive feature of Yamai Pottery is its production process, which begins with the time-consuming traditional method of Gabaikomi (slip casting) and ends with firing.
We have resisted the temptation to utilize modern mass-production techniques, which result in soulless products of low value. Instead, we keep alive the ancient craft of making unique pottery by hand. Our craftsmen dedicate their lives to cultivating the traditional beauty and high quality of their wares.

Step 1.1

Gabaikomi (Slip casting)

The plaster mold used to make the shape is filled with liquid mud, also known as slurry. After a few hours, when the mud has hardened to the thickness of the ceramic body, the excess mud is removed from the plaster mold. After a couple of hours, when the mud has hardened to the thickness of the main body of the pottery, the excess is removed from the plaster mold, which is where the name Gabaikomi (Slip casting) comes from.

Step 1.1

After leaving the mold in this state for about an hour, the excess mud is manually scraped away, and finally, the plaster mold is opened and the molded contents are removed.

Step 1.2

Power Molding

A plaster mold is filled with a mass of clay, placed in close contact with the mold so that it conforms to it, and a semi-automatic wheel is turned at high speed to form the piece.

Step 1.2

This step is carefully done by hand at our company. Power molding and Gabaikomi (Slip casting) are the primary molding methods we use.

Step 2

Designing the Mug and Attaching the Handle

After the molding process is complete, the pieces are dried, chamfered (deburred) to remove excess material, and ridged patterns are applied by hand.

Step 2

This is a time-consuming but necessary process because it determines the design of the mug. Finally, the handle is attached.

Step 3

Chamfering after Drying (Deburring + Wiping with Water)

After drying, the excess parts are cut off. The chamfering process is completed by carefully shaking off the water.

Step 3

It is a simple but essential step to ensure burrs don't remain on the piece's surface when it is baked.

Step 4

Biscuit Firing

After the chamfering process is complete, the piece is baked at 800 degrees Celsius for about six hours to remove the moisture from the material altogether. This makes it possible to glaze the pieces later and gives them a beautiful finish. After the biscuit firing, the material becomes slightly stronger and creates a dry sound when struck by hand.

Step 5.1


After the unglazing process, the painting process begins. There are several patterns, one of which is applying "decorative clay" by hand using a brush. The process takes time and care.

Step 5.1

This technique aims to create a gradation on the surface of the piece after it has been baked with white clay, and the unevenness of the colors brings out exquisite wabi-sabi (beautifully organic) aesthetic.

Step 5.2

Transfer Printing

This ancient technique was improved upon in the city of Mino and perfected in 1889. Lines are engraved on a copper plate with an iron brush, paint is applied, and paper printed with a printing press is pasted on the vessel's surface to transfer the paint. Since the shape is three-dimensional, applying the paper requires great skill.

Step 5.3

Applying Underglaze Decorations

Depending on the piece, this stage may involve stamping ornamental shapes such as plum blossoms or painting directly with a brush. The result is a reflection of the craftsman's individual style and expression. Since the work is done by hand, no two pieces are alike.

Step 6


Wax is applied by hand to the areas that are not to be glazed, such as where the company seal is stamped and where the clay body is shown. Such steady work makes a difference in the finished product.

Step 7


The piece is dipped, pulled out, and the excess removed—all carefully by hand. How the technique is executed makes a difference in the finish. Cultivating the ability to anticipate and perfect the same finish consistently requires years of practice.

Step 7

The selection of glaze is also essential. We adjust the amount of silica in the glaze and devise ways to maximize the organic aesthetic, which is an essential characteristic of our pottery.

Step 8


The final step, firing, is the most crucial part of the process. It takes about 20 hours in a kiln heated to 1,300 degrees Celsius. Firing depends on the heat source's distance, the gas's wind pressure, the oxidizing or reducing atmosphere, and the season. Maintaining the same quality is achieved by taking these factors into account and making slight adjustments.

Yohen is a color change caused by a chemical reaction inside the kiln. It is also called "fire change" because the kiln's flame causes it. The overlapping of the colors sometimes forms patterns, making the colors more profound and beautiful. There are times when sublime beauty is created by "fortunate accidents" that occur when kiln conditions vary unexpectedly.

Unwavering dedication to each step of the production process gives birth to gems of Japanese craftsmanship.