What is Pottery and What Do You Use it for?

Pottery is ages old. Dating as far back as 18,000 B.C. people have been creating artwork through the manipulation of clay and heat to create beautiful artwork through pottery. The ceramic material that makes pottery wares include earthenware, porcelain, and stoneware is then fired in kilns from 900˚F up to 2,400˚F. Ultimately, pottery is refined clay from all over the world. Depending on the composition of different types of materials will determine the characteristics after firing the pottery.

What makes most clay bodies is a mineral called kaolinite. When the minerals are compounded with other minerals the clay binds together, or acts as fluxes. Depending on the volume of materials that make up the clay will lower the vitrification (the transformation of the substance) for bonding through heat temperature of the clay.

Depending on what potters want to accomplish with their resulting pottery depends on the types of clays. Kaolin (China clay) is recognized for most porcelain works. Ball clay (fine grain sedimentary clay) are easily manipulated and often the first type of mud used by amateur potters because it is so malleable. All clay, depending on what the end result, is fired clay. The percentage of added minerals or fluxes will resist low temperatures; high temperatures firing make stoneware items.See more pottery info from http://www.artistica.com

Once a master potter chooses the type of pottery clay he or she wants to use, it’s a question of what their imagination can create. Most pottery is manipulated on a wheel and depending on the expertise of the pottery, ‘throwing’ clay on a turntable or wheel-head, can create glorious works of handcrafted art. The manipulation of pottery clay by hand is one of the earliest forms of clay construction and can make just about anything. However, useful pottery, jug, plates, and other flatware, that are the most useful items created by pottery wheels.

Once the forms are created the majority of manufactured kilns will cook the pottery at an optimum range between 1745°F and 2012°F (950°C and 1100°C); depending on the purity of the clay, the higher the temperature needed to cure clay, the better the results, the more stable the end product. So stoneware clays cure at a rate between 2150°F and 2260°F (1160°C and 1225°C) to 2200°F and 2336°F (1200°C and 1300°C).


Ball clays are made from more manmade materials than minerals and need to be fired up to 2336°F (1300°C) for mature hardness. Fire clays have a high firing range because of their minerals at 2696°F (1500°C). Master potters use kaolin (porcelain) clays have the highest mineral purity and are not as malleable as other types of clay. The result from maturity in the kiln at a temperature range of 3272°F (1800°C) make kaolin clays the most durable.read this news!

Many potters can tell the type of clay by the color and the texture. They understand what they are working with by touch and can do wonders with available stock. One doesn’t have to be a master potter to work with clay. If there is interested in the medium, many craft stores carry a variety of clays you can experiment with.