Pottery in Western Cameroon, Africa

Low-fire pottery has a long history in Africa. The style varies from place to place and through time. Both functional and sculptural pottery are made in the area around Foumban, in Western Cameroon. For more information about these artists, or to purchase their work, please contact Abdou Mfopa.

 
Several potters demonstrate their pottery techniques, from preparing the clay to firing the pieces:
 
Three clays are mixed together with water, then the mixture is pounded on a rock with a piece of wood. A clay bird is quickly modeled in solid clay, then the inside is hollowed out and a dish is added to the front.
 
 
To make a small vessel, a circular slab base is formed, then coils are added and smoothed to build up the walls.
 
The mouth is formed, then a piece of wet plastic tubing is used to round the lip. The foot has just been added.

After firing, a varnish-like substance is sponged onto the pots several times to seal the surface and make it shine. 
 
The inside and outside surface of dry pots are burnished with a pebble. The burnished pots are placed between dry palm fronds. The fronds are ignited, then wood is added. After around 20 minutes, the pots are fired!

 
For more information about Cameroon pottery, see "Cameroon Craft" in the July/August 2007 Ceramic Review, 226: 54-55.
 
Links:
African Arts/Handicraft and Environmental Management Institute (AFHEMI)
Art-Batik of Adehoumi Sikirou Shola
Bark Pictures of Claude Ngaha
Dschang Handicraft Center
Gîtes Ruraux de l’Ouest
Wood Carving in Foumban
Cameroonian beadworking  
Tapestry Crochet in Cameroon
Cameroonian Basket Maker, Fokam Goufo Buhler  
Cameroonian Author, Mih John Fung  
Cameroonian Painter, Hilarion Wirdzeka Faison  
Nigerian Painter, Elcarver Rotimi Agbola   
Tiles and Ceramics of Seville, Spain  
Tiles and Ceramics of Talavera de la Reina, Spain
Tiles and Ceramics of Ubeda, Spain  
Monje Ceramics of Lora del Rio, Spain
Earthenware Tiles of Portugal  
Majolica Ceramics of Caldas da Rainha, Portugal
Traditional Dunzi Production in Yaoli, China
Porcelain production in Jingdezhen, China
Mexican Ceramist, Capelo
Mexican Ceramist, Angelica Escarcega Rodriguez
Mexican Ceramist, José Luis Méndez Ortega
Mexican Ceramists,
Guevara Ceramics
Mexican Ceramist, Tecpatl Ceramics   
Clay Filigree (Filigrana de Barro) of Atzompa, Oaxaca, Mexico 
Maya Reproductions  
Roof Tiles in Bali, Indonesia 
Carol Ventura's Home Page 

Recommended books:
Hans Knopfli has written the best books I have ever read about the crafts of Cameroon. Please go to his web page at http://www.kamerun.ch/html/en/home.html for more information about them.

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Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura in 2001.