African pottery is often made by hand and formed into the shapes that are desired completely by hand; African pottery is sometimes poured into molds and pressed until the desired shape is visible. Many African pottery practices have been passed down from each generation and are the same as they were in ancient times.
In more primitive African cultures, molded clay is often placed into a pile with other pieces that have been created. The piles are then covered with wood that is lit on fire in order to bake the clay. The high heat from the wood fire above the pottery pieces allows the clay to become hard and stable enough to be used for food serving and watering purposes. After pots have been baked, they are polished using a firing method to make them more suitable for food use. African pottery is often fragile and heavy.
Some pottery that is made in Africa may depict characters, people and animals. These pictures are placed on the pots to represent different purposes for the pots. Stones, natural dyes and other decorations can be added to the clay to make the pottery look more aesthetically pleasing and to signify the purpose it serves.