Beauty of Pottery
Pottery includes earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made also bears the same name “pottery”. It is an art or craft of a potter or the manufacture.
The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines it as “all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products.”
Pottery originally came up before the Neolithic period, with ceramic objects in the Czech Republic date back to 29,000–25,000 BC, and pottery vessels found in Jiangxi, China, date back to 18,000 BC. Early Neolithic pottery was found in places such as Jomon Japan (10,500 BC), the Russian Far East (14,000 BC), Sub-Saharan Africa and South America as well.
Much of its history is only found among the artifacts. It is thought that pottery craft was developed just before agriculture. The earliest pottery was shaped by hand with a combination of pinching and coiling, though wheel shaping still is common in many countries. For firing that time, potters used bonfires and available clay nearby.
After forming a clay body into a shaped object and heating it to high temperatures, it is kneaded. Kneading of clay ensures the even moisture content. Air within the clay body is removed with a vacuum pug or manually by wedging.
Pottery tends to be decked in many ways either before or after the firing. The painting often is used to one-time-fired-pottery, and afterwards, it may be overlaid with a glaze, though the earliest pottery was not glazed. This decoration and glazing protect the potterywares by stopping liquid from entering into them. Some examples of glazing are salt-glazing, ash-glazing, etc.
Potters may work additives into the clay before its formation in order to create desired effects.
Once upon a time our ancestors relied only on the earthen utensils, though the scenario has changed enormously nowadays. Now watch how artistically the potter shapes the earthen utensils: