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Bamboo pottery tools have been the most widely used by production potters in the Orient for centuries. Bamboo is the material of choice for pottery tools for a number of reasons:

Durability: Bamboo - a grass having a long, running "grain" - is an incredibly durable, flexible, light-weight material. With a sharp knife, bamboo can be readily shaped and will hold an edge that stands up to heavy use far beyond most woods.

No need to oil:   Unlike wood, bamboo does not need to be impregnated with oils; its water-resistance is far superior to that of wood. Bamboo will never become soft, waterlogged, cracked or warped even after being left in water for an extended period of time.  

Fits the human anatomy: Bamboo's natural contour fits the human hand remarkably well. This, together with its light weight, toughness and aesthetic appeal, makes it uniquely suited for throwing. That includes left-handed throwing, too! Bamboo Tools has created several, unique, "reflected" shapes have been designed specifically for lefties.

Bamboo is a wise environmental choice: Did you know that Bamboo is the fastest growing tree!  Bamboo is considered a grass, rather than a wood, which means that the same tree can be re-harvested for many years. Bamboo has a very intricate rooting system allowing the same plant to regenerate itself and to be re-harvested every 3-5 years. Bamboo also grows in large amounts and may be selectively harvested annually. This makes bamboo one of the most renewable and abundant natural resources on the planet .

 

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Photo and materials from :
Inside Japanese Ceramics by Richard L. Wilson 1995
The World of Japanese Ceramics by Herbert H. Sanders
The Japanese Pottery Handbook by Penny Simpson
Pottery Decoration by Thomas Shafer
Shoji Hamada, A Potter's Way and Work by Susan Peterson
The Art of Bernard Leach by Carol Hogben