11.07.2019 in Exploratory

Ceramic Art Pottery Essay

Ceramic art pottery is defined by art objects such as tiles, figures, and tableware, which are made from clay. Some of these materials are regarded as fine art, while others are referred to as decorative or applied art. Typically, this art form is created by a group of people with knowledge and skills in pottery. Ceramic art has a long history depicted in most developed cultures; this is evidenced by the art that remains from ancient times. Ceramic art dates back more than two millennia, and the cultures noted to have engaged in the practice include Greek, Japanese, Persian, and Chinese cultures.

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The art is defined by the techniques used and the degree of emphasis placed on them. These include carvings, decorations in painting, and the shapes of the objects. The decorations made on the materials symbolize many aspects of life, often reflecting what cultures value as essential. Art forms were differentiated among different cultures, and one could easily identify the art from a particular culture. The most popular ones were from China and Greece. This is because their decorations and art were given more consideration and emphasis.

Today, the art of ceramics has not only been embraced by many nations but also recognized as one of the most economical resources in the arts and design industry. Especially in Europe, countries have regarded these materials as precious and thus import them for ornamental or ostentatious purposes. This diversification has greatly contributed to the industry’s growth, helping artists earn a living.

Pottery has been important as it contributes to the archaeology of historical cultures. Many of them are identified by their distinctive names, such as Beaker culture, Corded Ware culture, Linear Pottery culture, and Globular Amphora culture. Pottery has expressed many styles from various traditions, which are often related to metalwork and contemporary sculpture.

Production process of the ceramic art pottery

Ceramic art pottery undergoes many processes in its production. From these processes, quality substances are obtained.

  1. Clay Preparation.This is the first step, and it involves finding the plastic clay body. In ancient times, potters had to dig their own clay from available sources due to a lack of options. Digging is still prominent, and potters feel a connection to the earth through this process. The clay obtained from the earth, is offered as an offering by some of the Native American potters. In most cases, clay is commercially bought and imported through shipping, which can be expensive due to the bulk nature of the clay.
  2. Wedging.This involves mixing clay by hand, rotating it to process a ball of clay on the table. This is essential because it brings the clay together, forming a uniform layer and eliminating all air bubbles. This is important to avoid explosions caused by the expansion and bursting of air pockets. Presence of holes indicates the availability of air which has to be eliminated.
  3. Forming. After wedging has been completed, it can be formed by many methods such as coiling, slabbing, molding, and pinching. For better results, the methods can be combined.
  4. Drying. Opening of the clay bag begins the drying process. Clay dries by losing water and becomes stiffer, which begins to shrink. After the formation, the pieces created are wrapped in soft sheets of plastic and placed in a cool and dry place. The plastic will enable further drying to ensure that when one returns, the pieces will be usable. Caution should be taken when wrapping the work in plastic to avoid easy distortion of the pieces. Plastic should be used to avoid faster drying, which may result in cracking.
  5. Leatherhand.This is a partial dryness that occurs after the normal drying process. The process is characterized by further loss of water through evaporation, bringing stiffening and flexibility. At this stage, it is time to refine the piece by adding handles, carving excess clay, and adding decorative elements. This moment offers the last chance to change the shape of the piece. This stage is highly significant, as once the clay has dried beyond this point, no further changes can be made.
  6. Greenware.This refers to a piece of pottery that has completely dried. Elements like water and flexibility are completely eliminated, and bending could result in breakage. No further carvings can be made. This expresses the passive state of clay awaiting its first firing. The finished workpiece is carried and placed on the greenware racks. And it will remain at this level until there is enough accumulation of the pieces in the kiln. Only work on the greenware should be fired, and the pieces should be carried in order.
  7. Bisque Firing.After the drying process, the pieces are carried into the kilns for firing process. They are placed in a kiln, which reaches a temperature of about 1800 degrees Celsius to harden them and make them easy to handle without breaking during the process of glazing. This temperature maintains the porosity of the clay, which is its ability to absorb water. But the water is absorbed by the bisque ware. The bisque process is essential for making the glazing easy. After three days, the bisque process is over. On the first day, the kiln is loaded and lit, set on a low setting to dry the ware, and left to warm. A faster firing can cause the work to explode. on the second day, the kiln is turned higher, and the temperature rises until it reaches 1800 degrees. The kiln then turned off and allowed to cool. On the third day, the kiln is opened to remove the bisque ware, and the pottery is returned to the lab and stored.
  8. Glazing. Coloring materials and water are applied to the bisque pot by the process of dripping, spraying, pouring, and sponging. The pieces should be free of glaze. Pots are placed on the racks until they accumulate enough to fill the kiln.
  9. Glaze Firing.This again takes 3 days to complete. In this case, the temperature is about 2350 degrees. The pots are then left to cool after the firing. Some techniques, such as china painting, may be used to achieve different desired designs.

Uses of Ceramic Art Pottery Art Materials

Ceramic art potteries are used as chronological and cultural indicators. Some cultures, such as the Chinese and the Greeks, were highly focused, and their identification was a key aspect. Most of the ancient people used pottery materials to make designs that symbolized their cultural nature. Presently, countries still honor the arts which give them an identity. Pots and ornaments made by the cultures serve as cultural indicators for the countries.

Another use is making ornaments and home appliances such as cups and plates. The hardness of the materials helps in manufacturing durable plates and cups.

Used for the social identity aspect. Most of the pottery art was used to bring cultures together during cultural events. Cultures had the opportunity to present their cultural activities, which identified their cultural aspect. Countries like China and Japan were well known for presenting the highest degree of cultural diversity through different designs of pottery art.

Pottery materials are also used to manufacture building materials. Materials such as stoneware are hard and durable, making them ideal for building materials. Earthenware materials also act as ceramics for manufacturing home decoration materials, especially applied on walls.

Lastly, the materials are used for ostentation purposes, where they are kept by some individuals as a store of value. For instance, in some European countries, some carvings representing certain symbols are kept to act as the value of the objects.

Characteristics of Ceramic Art Pottery

Ceramic art pottery materials have features that identify them, making them easily distinguishable.

Ceramic art pottery materials have a high degree of durability. Materials such as porcelain, stoneware, and earthenware can last for a long time without wearing out or being destroyed. Their durability makes them suitable for many uses, such as the manufacture of building materials. Some of the materials have existed since historical times.

They are hard in nature; the materials are undergoing many processes, which make them so hard.Their hardness makes them have several uses which require hard materials. Hardness enhances durability a feature which is desirable by many users.

The materials have been in existence since the ancient times. Sources indicate that the materials have been in use as early as 2000 BC. This makes them useful as chronological and cultural indicators.

The materials undergo a lengthy manufacturing process. The process starts from clay collection to firing process, which takes some time to accomplish.

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