related topics
{@card@, make, design}
{land, century, early}
{theory, work, human}
{acid, form, water}
{country, population, people}
{god, call, give}
{ship, engine, design}
{island, water, area}
{woman, child, man}
{math, energy, light}

Pottery is the ceramic ware made by potters.[1] The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery (plural potteries).[2] Pottery can also refer to the material of which the potteryware is made.[3][4] Major types of pottery include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. Pottery is one of the oldest human technologies and art-forms, and remains a major industry today. The definition used by archaeologists tends to exclude ceramic objects such as figurines which are made by similar processes, and perhaps the same people, but are not vessels, or made on a potter's wheel.



Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln to induce reactions that lead to permanent changes, including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape. There are wide regional variations in the properties of raw materials used for the production of pottery, and this can lead to wares that are unique in character to a locality. It is common for clays and other materials to be mixed to produce clay bodies suited to specific purposes.

Prior to some shaping processes, air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. This is called de-airing and can be accomplished by a machine called a vacuum pug or manually by wedging. Wedging can also help to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body. Once a clay body has been de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After shaping it is dried before firing. There are a number of stages in the drying process. Leather-hard refers to the stage when the clay object is approximately 15% mositure content. Clay bodies at this stage are very firm and only slightly pliable. Trimming and handle attachment often occurs at the leather-hard state. Clay bodies are said to be "bone-dry" when they reach a moisture content at or near 0%. Unfired objects are often termed greenware. Clay bodies at this stage are very fragile and hence can be easily broken.

Methods of shaping

Pottery can be shaped by a range of methods that include:

Hand building. This is the earliest forming method. Wares can be constructed by hand from coils of clay, from flat slabs of clay, from solid balls of clay, or some combination of these. Parts of hand-built vessels are often joined together with the aid of slip, an aqueous suspension of clay body and water. Hand building is slower than wheel-throwing, but it offers the potter a high degree of control over the size and shape of wares. The speed and repetitiveness of other techniques is more suitable for making precisely matched sets of wares such as tablewares, although some studio potters find hand building more conducive to create one-of-a-kind works of art.

Full article ▸

related documents
Rug making
Berlin wool work
Fran├žois Tourte
Contact juggling
Figure skating spins
Textile arts
Chess piece
Hand saw
Types of swords
Pole weapon
Type design
Nurse uniform