Archive for June 3, 2013
The beauty of pottery lies not only in the finished product, but in the awareness of the skill, time, and patience it takes to create these pieces of art. Mastering wheel throwing is a feat in and of itself, and is a endeavor that few have the ability to master. If you try too hard to center or grip the unsculpted pottery clay while it spins on pottery wheels, for example, your masterpiece will be ruined. As such, creating pieces of pottery or ceramics involves an adept and steady hand; something that can not be purchased from a pottery supply store.
But the craftsmanship does not end with the sculpting; once your ceramic piece is formed, then comes the precarious event of firing (which can be done in a variety of ways, but most often is done in large or small kilns). During the firing process, sometimes the formed clay does not make it out in one piece, however. Once fired and dried, which can take days, then the decoration or glaze may be applied. (Glaze can be applied prior to firing, although many potters prefer the after fire approach.) Pottery supply and techniques applied to making of pottery gets even trickier depending on the creation; pieces with more than one part (such as a mug and handle) are often conjoined and casted by a slip.
In addition to throwing on a wheel, pottery can be created by hand shaping, injection molding, or casting. The caveats of each approach can be taught, and often instructional methods are often taught at a pottery supply store. Hand forming clay, of course, is the oldest method known, and clay artifacts have been unearthed that date back to 20,000 years ago. Pottery supply, ceramic supplies, and pottery equipment involve more than the techniques and the clay (which come in an array of types from a pottery supply vendor); there are also pottery glazes, stains, chalk pencils, wire cutters, and sculpting tools to consider. All of these can be purchased from a pottery supply store.