Taking a Look at Pottery

Pottery has been around for centuries. It is made of different components, and one of the most commonly used ones is clay. The job of the potter is to take the clay and to form it into some type of shape. Then, once the desired shape has been made, the piece is fired in a kiln so all of the water is removed from it.

There are different types of pottery.

  • Earthenware
  • Stoneware
  • Porcelain

Preparing the clay

Potters have to prepare the clay for use. They do this by kneading the clay. This makes sure that all of the components within the clay are distributed evenly. It makes the clay pliable, and easier to work with. The kneading also helps to remove any air that may be trapped in the clay.

Shaping Techniques

There are different tools and techniques that the potter can use to shape pottery. The oldest method has been with the use of the hands. By today’s standards, this may seem crude, yet some beautiful and useful pieces were constructed this way. It was basically the use of coil strips of clay that were mounded on top of one another with the use of slip to bind them together.

The potters wheel is a term that many are familiar with. Here a ball of clay is spun on a wheel under the guidance of the potters hands. The potter applies different amounts of pressure and manipulations of the clay to form a shape. What is so amazing about pottery is that no two pieces are ever exactly the same.

Granulated pressing is another pottery technique. This technique incorporates the use of a mold.

These are just a few examples of the different ways that pottery can be shaped. There are several other techniques, and they each have the ability to allow for the creation of some very unique pieces.