Pottery is a brilliant hobby that just about anyone in the world can pick and get started on. Spending countless hours learning how to make the perfect bowl, plate, or vase, can eventually lead the artist down the road of selling their pottery. Starting a small pottery business means either taking custom commissions or making home-made creations to sell at a market, which means having to both store the pottery and transport it in a safe way. Due to the nature of ceramics, which are prone to breaking under too much stress, it’s important to learn how to properly store all forms of pottery, and to ensure that there are no breakages after taking the pottery out of storage or the back of a transport van.
Depending on who’s asked, clay can either be a great resource or a sign of a problem. For gardeners, clay signals that their soil isn’t healthy enough to grow any crops, while a pottery lover sees clay as the ultimate tool of creation. Regardless, clay is an interesting natural phenomenon that can be found across the world and is made up of a variety of elements that make it uniquely suited for the creation of pottery. For those that want to know more about clay and how it functions, these are the most important points to remember.
For most artists in the world today, getting a hold of quality clay usually means ordering it from the local artisan shop or even online. And while there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing it, it is often considered a specialty item and may cost a fair amount, especially considering that clay can be found abundantly in nature. For those that want to use natural clay for their pottery while also saving some money, these are some simple steps to follow in order to do just that.
Of all the different kinds of pottery in the world, there’s none quite as valuable as the vase, an object that has been used for thousands of years. Many of these vases from history have been kept by museums and collectors, always kept on display and out of harm’s way, and their beautiful designs have made them a top prize for the world’s richest. They’re also among the most expensive auction items in the world, accounting for hundreds of millions of dollars.
Humans have been creating ceramics and pottery for countless millennia, with evidence to suggest that we first started around 14000 years ago in ancient China and Africa. Primitive pottery was extremely simple but effective, where the clay containers were used to store food during the colder months. It didn’t take long before people began to refine the process, making the pottery stronger, harder, and even adding decorations to make their creations more visually appealing.
Golden Joinery, Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, is the Japanese art of fixing broken pottery that is hundreds of years old now. Rather than rejoining ceramic shards with a concealed adhesive, however, the Kintsugi technique uses a distinctive lacquer made of tree sap and dusted with powdered gold, silver, or even platinum. Once completed, bewitching seams of colour shine in the now-conspicuous cracks of ceramic wear, giving each repaired piece a one-of-a-kind appearance.
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.