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A potter at work in Bangalore, India
Unfired "green ware" pottery on a traditional drying rack at Conner Prairie living history museum
Pottery workshop reconstruction in the Museum of traditional crafts and applied arts, Troyan, Bulgaria

Pottery is the ceramic material which makes up potterywares,<ref>'Pottery Science: materials, process and products.' Allen Dinsdale. Ellis Horwood Limited, 1986.</ref> of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery (plural "potteries"). Pottery also refers to the art or craft of a potter or the manufacture of pottery.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref><ref>'An Introduction To The Technology Of Pottery. 2nd edition. Paul Rado. Institute Of Ceramics & Pergamon Press, 1988</ref> A dictionary definition is simply objects of fired clays.<ref>Pottery, meaning 3, mass noun, Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press, 2015</ref> The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products."<ref>'Standard Terminology Of Ceramic Whitewares And Related Products.' ASTM C 242–01 (2007.) ASTM International.</ref>

Pottery originated before the Neolithic period, with ceramic objects like the Gravettian culture Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine discovered in the Czech Republic date back to 29,000–25,000 BC,<ref name=Venus/> and pottery vessels that were discovered in Jiangxi, China, which date back to 20,000 BC.<ref name=Xianrendong/> Early Neolithic pottery have been found in places such as Jomon Japan (10,500 BC),<ref name=Jomon/> the Russian Far East (14,000 BC),<ref name=fareastrussia/> Sub-Saharan Africa and South America.

Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing. Prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared. Kneading helps to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body. 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 produce an even moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After shaping it is dried and then fired.


Pottery sections
Intro  Production stages  Clays bodies and mineral contents  Decorating and glazing  Firing  History  Archaeology  Environmental issues in production  Other usages  See also  Notes  References  Further reading  External links  

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