Did you know that pottery was first fired in bonfires and pitfires before people realized how to make kilns and other high temperature heating spaces for clay? Today, many people enjoy working with pottery either as a job or a hobby. If you are looking to expand your knowledge or your pottery resources, then here are three things you should know.
1. The Wheel
The pottery wheel was invented between 6,000 and 4,000 BCA in Mesopotamia. The wheel both speeds up and streamlines the creation of different forms of pottery, and not surprisingly, it revolutionized pottery production. The wheel that helps shape the clay can be moved by hands, feet, or electricity, depending on the size and make of the heel. Today, you can find pottery wheels for sale ranging in price from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand, depending on what sort and size wheel you want.
2. Pottery Glazes
Once pottery has been initially fired, it often is glazed. For vessels intended to carry water, glazing is necessary because otherwise, the clay would be porous and not hold th water well. Glazes are applied as a coating and then the clay is wired again. Not only does it waterproof, but it also strengthens and decorates. If you are using glazes, remember that the color you paint on does not usually represent the final shade. This is why many potters make example color tiles.
3. The Major Types of Pottery
The three main types of pottery are earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. Did you know that porcelain was first made during the Tang Dynasty in China, which began in the year 618 CE? If you are looking for the cheapest option, stoneware will be your choice. The chemicals that make up stoneware, though, mean that you need a larger kiln in order to reach the necessary high temperatures. Very small kilns can be perfect, however, for people who want to work with smaller, jewelry pieces.
What have you been using big or small kilns for? Let us know in the comments! Helpful info also found here.