Do you like working with clay? If the answer is yes, you will want to make pottery. There are many different tools you need, but the pottery wheel is probably the most important one. Purchasing one is expensive and not something beginners can easily do. Luckily, we will present you how to make a pottery […]
Pottery is clay based and can be either the item that is created or the process used to create it. It uses various types of clay varied by what is being made and can be done either by hand using several techniques or on a pottery wheel that spins with the pressure on the floor pedal. Pottery is very popular in many countries around the world and you can purchase pottery pieces ranging from every day kitchen dishes to large works of art chandeliers or clocks and everything in between.
To create something it all begins with a bit of clay. The larger the item you are making the more clay you will use, and it most often begins with forming a ball from the clay. It is important to work the clay a bit before forming, just moving it around in a ball, flattening it some, and kneading slightly like you would a loaf of bread or a bit of playdough. For hand shaped pieces this is where the shaping begins, for those making flat sided pieces it is rolled into a large slab and cut to fit the shape needed, and for anything being made on a pottery wheel it is put back into a ball and then placed upon the pottery wheel.
What is a pottery wheel
A pottery wheel is a large wheel that sits horizontally on the mechanism that turns it. It is attached to a seat and there is a foot pedal that turns it to the needed speed. Adding water to the clay to keep it soft and shapeable, though too much water will make it too soft and difficult to form. Using your hands it is shaped as desired, into plates, cups, egg holders, dishes, teapots and more. To use the pottery wheel is called throwing, and the clay can be thrown into many shapes, and handles are added afterwards to the items that need them.
Once the item has been made to the right size and shape, leaving some room for shrinking, it is placed in a kiln, which is a large oven that reaches quite high temperatures, and cooked. This hardens the clay and gives it the strength it needs to maintain its shape and use for years to come. Clay pots have been found buried for hundreds of years and while many will be broken, much of the pottery remains intact. When choosing a clay to use it consider the color and the heat needed to cure it. Porcelain will require a higher temperature and will be white or close to it earthenware needs the lowest heat level to harden and will be orange, red, or gray in color, stoneware is grey in color and will work at a range of temperatures, while ball clay and fire clay are often added to other clays to add strength and adjust the color. Once they have been fired, or cooked, for the first time, they are then painted and can go back into the kiln for a second time to cure the designs.
Pottery has endless possibilities and can be created, decorated, and cured into any shape or color desired. It can last entire lifetimes when treated carefully and is one of the oldest methods of making household items.
Pottery has been around for thousands and thousands of years. In fact, the oldest known pottery vessel is over 18,000 years old! Since then, pottery has reached all parts of the world and has been used in societies new and old for food and drink purposes or artistic and creative expressions. Clay pottery making today […]
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Affiliate Disclaimer: As Amazon Associates, we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy items that we mention on our site, we may earn a small commission at no cost to you. This helps us keep the lights on and provide pottery education for free! To spark your child’s interest in studying pottery, you can engage […]