Domonkos László is the ‘resident’ Hungarian folk potter at the International Ceramics Studio. As well as throwing traditional Hungarian forms he assists visiting artists when they need forms throwing. Laszlo offered to do some throwing demonstrations for us as well as assisting with firing the Salt kiln overnight – how some of us survived this i do not know! What is even more remarkable is that László did not speak any English. A number of hours drinking did seem to help with communication especially for Geoff!
His throwing demonstration was fascinating and steeped in folk pottery tradition. Apparently he is one of the last traditionally trained Hungarian potters. I am not convinced about the forms but there are clearly some good reasons for his methods. Instead of turning the foot on a bowl he supported the form before it was leather hard so that he could throw the foot. This meant that no clay was wasted by turning. He also made a large water bottle with the neck section thrown in multiple parts. At one point a piece was added that seemed to seal the top up. This was then pierced to create holes before more thrown sections were added. Apparently this was to form a water bottle that was traditionally taken into the fields for the workers to drink from. The seal with the small holes would allow water to come out but prevent snakes from sneaking in! You can see one of these bottles on the table next to Laszlo.