The ancient Greeks were one of the first known civilisations to take the art of pottery and completely refine it. Greek pottery pieces have been dated back to between c. 1000 to c. 400 BCE, and to this day have some of the most distinctive shapes, markings and finishes of any ancient pottery found.
Getting into the ceramic industry, whether as a profession or a pastime, requires a certain amount of preparation, along with lots of equipment. Clay tends to be the first starting point for beginners, and it can be difficult to choose the right kind of clay for your needs. Fortunately, there are some simple ways of learning which kind of clay is the best.
Adding elements of pottery to your home décor can be a very innovative way of lighting the space up, grabbing people’s attention, and bringing your personality to bear on your surroundings. Thanks to it being so diverse, incorporating pottery into your home also provides an opportunity for you to play around with design and colour and really dig in to your creative side.
China has given porcelain to the world, and now it seems that the Asian country is home to humanity’s first pottery pieces as well. A team of Israeli, Chinese, and American scholars have found ceramic pottery remains estimated to be between 15,400 and 18,300 years old in a cave in the Hunan province of China.
Pottery is an art that can take some years to truly master, and during that time, it’s reasonable to expect that plenty of mistakes will be made. Many of these mistakes can mean having to start over, but each one also provides the opportunity to learn and make a better piece next time.
While the name of this particular clay might make you believe otherwise, paper clay is in fact extra-strength clay which is best used to create large pieces which would be overly-heavy with standard clay. Made by mixing clay with shredded paper or other fibres, paper clay is a strong and versatile clay which remains lightweight after firing. While ready-mix paper clay can be purchased, here we discuss how to make and use paper clay successfully.
Whether you’re making use of melted wax, wax emulsions, or wax resists, they all serve a variety of purposes when creating ceramics and pottery. If you’re not a particularly experienced potter or ceramicist, you may be wondering what on earth the relationship between the two is, but the purpose is to keep liquids from adhering to the clay. This technique is used for decorating through the prevention of adhesion of raw liquid glazes to the body, but there are also several other uses. Here we explore how to successfully use wax emulsions in pottery.
Sgraffito is one of the oldest and most popular pottery decorating techniques around, having been used by countless cultures across the globe over the past few millennia. The word itself stems from the Italian term ‘graffito’, which means to draw or inscribe on a wall or any other surface (this is the same word that gave us the term ‘graffiti’!).
As pottery beginner, you may not realise that you’re able to create striking ceramics without the use of coloured glazes and agateware is one way of doing so. Agateware is created by mixing different clay bodies of different colours to produce a marble effect. Particularly favoured by world famous potter Josiah Wedgewood, you too can create pottery of this kind using our beginners guide to agateware.