Slab Building Gallery | It’s fun to make pottery works with the slab building techniques for the all skill level.

Slub Building Object

With the slab building technique, unique shapes of object could make. Here’s some of my works.

I had a ball making these objects such as “Hina” dolls or small cabins.

Slab Bulding Plate

The slab building technique is also the best method for making simple items such as plate.
The benefit of this method requires only few tools,

If a person knows how to make a slab with cray. Any objects can be make.


Please check my YouTube videos. Over 140 videos show you how to make them.

Note: This software does not allow me to switch multi languages.

Pottery Necklace Gallarey | Self-made only-one gift for your better half

Necklace made with a cray

As I shown on the YouTube video, we made a necklace with the pottery cray.
If necklace parts are made with pottery cray, that will cause for the stiff neck for the person who ware it.
Therefore, the cray balls should be made as lighter as possible as its could. A dye was made with small toy rubber balls with using the plaster. In this way, we can make the necklace ball of the cavity.

With this method, we can make wall as thinner as few millimeters. After making a thin cray slab and use the dye to make hollow balls. Three sizes of the cray ball were made.
After the fire, the final necklace assembly were done by my pottery class mate Yokko-san.

Final necklace work after the fire

With this method, we can make wall as thinner as few millimeters. After making a thin cray slab and use the dye to make hollow balls. Three sizes of the cray ball were made.
After the fire, the final necklace assembly were done by my pottery class mate Yokko-san.

Three balls are used with this necklace. “Seiji” blue, “Kuro-tenmoku” black glaze, and “Nyuhaku” a milky white glaze
The black ball in the center has many holes on it. I remove a lot of cray by the drill bit to further reduce the weight.

Final necklace works Gallery after the fire

Hints on the fire

Glaze was applied on the entire parts which creates a problem on how to fire. They can’t fire on the kiln shelves.

An ordinarily metal wire will melt down with the high-temperature of 1300 degree in centigrade. Thus, a special kiln wire must be use. A high-temperature resistance wire is sold in pottery shop. It is not too expensive. In Japan, about 30cm length of the wire is sold under 5oo yen (about 4 U.S. dollar).

I suggest that three “tsuku” is used to bridge and support the weight so that the wire does not bent by the heat.

Also, you’d better off coat the wire with alumina, this will enable you to remove the part from the wire easily even if it would be attached to the wire by melting glaze.


The technical part of how to make a plaster dye and cray balls are not explained in this article.

Please watch my YouTube video. Access to YouTube Make a Pottery Neckless

Good Luck!

Hinamatsuri (The Festival of Dolls on the Gairl’s day )| Pottery Hinamatsuri Dolls

In Japan, we have some unique holidays such as “Girls Day” on March 3rd and the “Chidrens Day on May 5th.

Girl’s Day

The Girls day is on March 3rd. We have several names to call this day, Hina-matsuri, Momono-sekku.
Hina-matsuri is the Festival of Dolls. Hina means “Doll” and Matsuri means “Festival.

Most of families with young girls will celebrate the health and happiness of girls. It is a special day for girls as well as all family members.

How we celebrate this joyful day

On this day, families display special dolls known as Hina-ningyo on Hina-Matsuri.

The Hina-ningyo dolls used to be placed on a several tiered like descending stairs in old days. Most of the families have their own family “Ohinasama” set and this will be passed onto the next generation of the family as a family treasure.

The dolls depict the imperial court. Hina Ningyo represents the Emperor, Empress, their servants, court ladies, musicians, ministers, etc. A set of dolls includes the Emperor, the Empress, three court ladies, five court musicians, the minister of the left, the minister of the right and three servants.

There many rules to display dolls, for example, the Emperor is positioned to the left and Empress is right side (view from the front of display).

In Kyoto, the position of the Emperor and The Empress is in reversed position.

Today, the doll sets are smaller with fewer dolls. A smaller set of Hina dolls are suitable for small modern houses. There is another reason for it, purchase a whole of the Hina-ningyo set costs fortune. Younger couple does not see value to have such extravagant dolls.

In general, customarily a Hina dolls set will be presented by the grand parent of the mother’s side.

What a family would do on the Girl’s Day

Displaying Hira dolls is the major event of this day.
Besides of this, special meals are prepared. Chirashi-zushi, Hishimochi, Hina Arare and so on.

Chirashi-zushi is a kind of sushi with many scattered toppings such as salmon roe and sashimi on vinegar rice.
Modern families celebrate the day by eating spring like sushi-dishes and create a Hina-matsuri inspired cakes.
Hishimochi are diamond-shaped rice cakes and their colors are pink, white and green Hishimochi, Shirozake (rice wine) and peach flowers are displayed together.

Hishimochi is a rice cake colored in pink, white and green and it is prepared only for Hina-Matsuri.
Today, we eat traditional dishes like Scattered sushi(chirashi-sushi), clam soup, sweet white sake(Shirozake), rise cookie (Hina Arare) and diamond-shaped rice cakes(Hishimochi) for the Doll’s Festival.

Some families have a small party by inviting their daughter’s friends usually girls and eat special meals and sing a Hinamatsuri song.

Some other rules

The dolls are usually set up at around Imbolc day, or sometime by 24th of February.

It is said that Hina ningyo take away the bad luck of girls who own them.
People put away Hina Ningyo as soon as Hinamatsuri is over.

It is believed that if people put away Hina Ningyo too late, the girl will get married late in the future.

There no certain day to put away Hina-dolls. It varies by location and area. Some say March 6th is the day. Only one thing is clear, Japanese family does not display the Hina-dolls throughout of the year.

Ohina-dolls after the fire

Mainking “Ohinasama” dolls are very popular in our pottery class. The pictures in this article is dolls made by myself or classmates.


Blue and White Pottery |Under glaze painting (Sometsuke) Works Gallery

What is the “Somesuke” Blue and White Pottery

“Blue and white pottery” (Japanese: 染付 sometsuke, Chinese: 青花; pinyin: ; literally: “Blue flowers”) covers a wide range of white pottery and porcelain decorated under the glaze with a blue pigment, generally cobalt oxide.

The decoration is commonly applied by hand, originally by brush painting, but nowadays by stencilling or by transfer-printing, though other methods of application have also been used.

Sometsuke Dish

Sometsuke Flower Vase

Sometsuke Tea Cup

Top 10 Norman’s YouTube video in the past 30 days | 140 video help your pottery activities

Over 140 videos are uploaded on the YouTube under the name of Norman Tomita. Most of them are my hobby’s pottery related.

Since I started YouTube seriously last year, the accumulated view is exceeded over 260,000 times and the number of subscriber reached over 600 people.

Most of videos are pottery related, Followings are the best 10 videos based on the accumulated watch times in the past 30days.

If you like to see any topic of the listed, please click the “YouTube” in blue letters.

I also recommend you to become a subscriber, please click on the Channel icon or click on my profile image at the end of video. All subscribers will be notified by the YouTube Org. when the new video is up loaded.


Pottery slab bulding: Texture patter plates using a lace matt   YouTube video

view : 3000  watch timie: 7200 mni.

This video is a summary of my pottery gallery on lace pattern plates and how to make them. Unfortunately I can’t find some pottery terminology. I hope you can understand what in it.

Pottery Figure: Year of “Dog” 2018 YouTube

views:   1500      Watch time: 7700

Zodiac symbol of the year 2018 is the “Dog”. Many pottery lover will make a symbol around the end of year to get ready for the New Year. If you know fundamental techniques, you can create any animal. This is not sculpture. Enjoy create your own pet!

Making an aroma pot with a balloon     YouTube

Views: 1000  Watch Time: 6500
Making a lamp shade, aroma pot, an owl with a balloon. One more step up technique from a coil forming.

Japanese Tea Ceremony Bowls YouTube

飴釉・白萩 322g 120 x 75mm

Views:   1000   Watch time: 5900

Tea bowls are essential parts of the Japanese tea ceremony. At the ceremony, green powdered tea (call “Maccha”) is used and served. Usually a host invites several guests to a small tea room and serve “maccha” green tea.

It is one of very popular item at the pottery school and not difficult to make. However, there are some basic rules to follow in making them

Pottey techniques make a covered jar with a “balloon”       YouTube

Views:  1000     Watch time: 5500

This video introduces pottery techniques to make a covered jar with a balloon.
If anyone can make a cray balloon either by the handwheel or an electric wheel, it will provide  more satisfied results and more fun.

Let’s make “Ohinasama” dolls for the Hinamatsuri Series I YouTube

Views:  1000     Watch time: 5300

March 3rd is the Doll’s Festival in Japan. So called “Hinamatsuri”=Doll’s day is an occasion to pray young girls growth and happiness. Most of families with girls display dolls for the festival.The dolls depict the imperial court.

Basics of the coil forming YouTube

Views: 410    Watch time: 3500

The pottery coil forming technique is the most important technique which a pottery beginner must master. let’s go back to the coil forming basic to make a better pottery works.

Especially people who are having difficulty in centering and want to make lighter pottery works.

Making necklace YouTube

Views:  500    Watch time: 3000

This is the first time I ‘m making a plaster mold for a necklace ball. I assume you can simply make it with a roud cray. One problem. The total weight of the necklace would be too heavy to ware. By having a plaster cray, you can make a thin wall ball for the necklace and it will not cause for the stiff shoulder. A plaster mold technique is the one of vital method that you want to learn.

Booth Style Percile Holder YouTube

Views:  900 Watch time:2800

This slab building pencil holder is very popular in any pottery class.
If you use paper stencil, it is not difficult one to make. You can make a boots, sneaker or ordinary shoes. Students make this as a glass coaster. It is very unique and give you full pottery satisfaction. Component dimensions are added.

Covered jar with chattering marks YouTube

Views:  340   Watch time: 2700

Chattering techniques is fun and provide with you most satisfying results.
This can be use for a round dish, flower vase and any other round pottery works.

Everyone wants to try. Yet many people hesitate to use this technique due to unfamiliarity or lack of experience. It is very simple if anyone could understand the basic mechanism and having a proper tool.