“Yumi” - Trimming Bow

The Japanese title of this tool is “Yumi”; in English is “Bow”. This tool maintains a taut line for cutting edges. It is used to trim off uneven rims on bowls, cups or plates; and to create flat sides on round objects.  Yumi has been being used in the East for hundreds of years, and it is still a common pottery tool in Japan now. The most significant advantage of this tool over other cutting tools is that it is easy to control; it can produce sharp and clean cut on thick soft clay. Though this is a simple tool, there are some basic rules need to be followed  in order to get the best result:


When using on wheels, try to hold the yumi with both hands as shown below. This gives you maximum control of the yumi on a moving wheel.   

When cutting small objects, hold the cross bar or hold the thread.

To create flat side, you can hold the yumi and move downward. Or hold the cross bar and pull upward.


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
Shoji Hamada, A Potter's Way and Work by Susan Peterson
The Art of Bernard Leach by Carol Hogben

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