In 2012, UNESCO reported that in Botswana the practice of making pottery is in danger of being forgotten. There is a dwindling number of potters to pass the techniques of this art form — gathering and making the clay, building the forms, preparing the pit kiln — to the next generation.
The process is laborious. Two different clay rocks are harvested, ground and sieved into a fine powder, and carefully mixed together to achieve the desired consistency. The finished pots are surrounded by wood and smothered to restrict air flow, and then fired. The pieces come out of the pit kiln smooth, and they are a lustrous clay red with black scorch marks.
Supporting handmade, Fair Trade crafts helps to keep traditional arts such as this from becoming extinct.