Pottery is defined as “all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products.” It is one of the oldest types of human artifacts. In fact, archeologists have found examples of early pottery dating back to between 29,000 and 25,000 BCE. Pottery, is not only old, but also universal. Early examples have been found in many civilizations, around the world, on every continent.
Pottery is made by first taking clay and molding it into the desired shape. This shaping process can be done a number of ways. The easiest way is to simply use your hands to shape the clay. More professional artisans will use a tool called a pottery wheel. The clay is placed in the middle of the pottery wheel which spins round and round quickly. This process, called “throwing,” allows the sculptor to evenly shape the clay and produce a much smoother product.
Once the clay is formed, it is ready to be fired. The firing process involves heating the clay to high temperatures. This causes the clay to harden. The firing process can be done a number of different ways. Originally, the clay was just thrown into a fire. However, today, the most common way is to use a kiln. It is only once the firing process is completed that the clay properly becomes pottery. The temperature at which the clay is heated is one of the most important factors in determining which of the three major types of pottery, earthenware, stoneware and porcelain, the finished article will be.
If you are interested in getting started in pottery, there are a number of different websites that can provide you with tutorials to walk you through the process from start to finish. You can also find online stores where you can purchase all the pottery tools and pottery supplies you will need. Do not forget that you will also need a kiln as well. Skutt Kilns is the largest manufacturer of kilns and Skutt Kilns makes many models that are small enough for home use. Visit here for more: www.bigceramicstore.com
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