Our potters are working diligently and we will continue to fulfil inventory as it is available - can take up to 3 weeks (longer for large items). Thank you for your patience.

The Process

 All Bakuli Blu pottery begins with the clay, which is sourced in Nyeri. Our claymaker and head potter travel there to personally choose the best clay from the selection on offer. There is a tried and tested, and carefully calculated, formula of mixing the clay with various minerals. The minerals originate in Athi River, so it is all of truly Kenyan origin. Depending on the composition of the clay, the formula may need to be adjusted slightly to achieve the perfect clay – which obviously needs to be durable and long-lasting. Durability is one of our biggest considerations when producing all our pottery. 



The clay and minerals are mixed with water and stirred with a large wooden paddle. It takes approximately three days for it to become thoroughly mixed with no lumps. It is then sieved through a very fine sieve into another drum to remove all the twigs and other small particles. The mixture is poured into the clay bed, which is made of bricks with holes in them, and covered in a fine cotton material. This allows the water to drain out through the material and bricks. It is left to dry for several weeks, depending on the weather.
Once it is sufficiently dry, the clay is cut into squares and taken out of the clay bed and onto the wedging table. The clay is then meticulously wedged/kneaded by hand to remove any air bubbles, aid pliability and ensure a uniform consistency. Once it is deemed suitable for use, it is covered in plastic for about three weeks to age. It is only at this point that the clay is finally ready for use.



The potters weigh out the amount of clay required for the item they are going to make. They then throw the clay on the pottery wheel. Throwing is a method of shaping the clay on a potter’s wheel, which began around the world thousands of years ago, and is still used today. The wheel turns constantly, triggered by the potter’s foot, meaning the clay rotates so it can be moulded into the desired shape by hand. As all our products are thrown on the wheel, this is why we can only produce items that are essentially round in shape. Wheel throwing is a highly skilled part of the process, as anyone who has ever attempted throwing clay on a wheel will attest to – and maybe not always as romantic as that scene from Ghost!
The thrown piece must be left to dry sufficiently. The time for this varies depending on the size of the item and the weather; it can take up to three weeks before an item is ready for the first firing. Once it is deemed to be dry enough – this is known as bone dry – it is put into the kiln for the first fire, where the kiln temperature reaches 900°C. This is known as the bisque fire. Bisque is what products look like when they are an earthen or terracotta colour, but have no stain or glaze on them. During a bisque firing, the clay undergoes chemical changes that mean it can no longer be dissolved in water.


Once the clay is fired to bisque, it can then be glazed. We source our glaze from South Africa and ensure all glazes are lead-free, making the products safe for serving and eating food from. It is at this point that the pottery is also stained, in one of our many delightful designs. Our highly skilled painters undertake all this work completely by hand. This accounts for slight variations in individual pieces, which we like to call rustically elegant, or perfectly imperfect! But it is the handcrafted nature of Bakuli Blu products which give them their charm and appeal.
After glazing and staining, the pottery is fired for the second and final time – this time to 1120°C. When in its finished state, our pottery is classed as earthenware.
And there you have it – the lengthy, complete process of turning clay into a beautiful piece of Bakuli Blu pottery!