Pottery is defined as “all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products.” Pottery is one of mankind’s oldest art forms. In fact, evidence of pottery has been discovered going back as far as 29,000 BCE. Pottery is also an almost universal craft. Evidence of pottery has been discovered among a number of civilizations on every continent.
The production of pottery begins by sculpting and forming clay into a desired shape. This sculpting process can be done a number of different ways. The most obvious way is to simply use one’s hands to shape the clay. More advanced pottery makers typically use a machine called a pottery wheel. The clay is placed in the center of the pottery wheel, and the wheel then spins rapidly. This allows the sculptor to evenly shape the clay. This process is called “throwing” the clay.
Once the clay is shaped, then it is ready to be fired. Firing refers to heating the clay to super high temperatures. This causes it to harden and finally become pottery. Once again, firing can be performed a number of different ways. Early pottery makers simply put clay into fires to harden them. Now days, most pottery makers will use a device called a pottery kiln. Pottery kilns are essentially super hot ovens that cook the clay. The invention of kilns allowed for different types of pottery to be made because they could reach higher temperatures.
If you are interested in producing your own pottery, then the internet can be a great resource. Online you will be able to find everything you need to learn about pottery making. You can also find websites that will allow you to buy all the pottery tools and supplies you will need to get started, including pottery wheels and pottery kilns.