What it takes to make a Piece of Pottery
Potters have been making pottery for thousands of years. The early men were the ones who discovered the art of using clay to make items like small pinch pots. Over time this art has evolved, today many people make pottery or ceramics for different reasons. For most people its business while for some, it’s a hubby. Be it business or hubby or whatever reason the motivation behind the art of making a pottery piece is, nothing speaks beauty or authenticity better than a perfection of the piece. This might be that the person or potter would have to make a jar, a vase or even a dish, but it just has to be perfect.
For those first-timers or those who intend on learning the art to achieve perfection when making a piece of pottery, you have to first ask yourself the kind or type of pottery you want to make. Are you making a bowl? If the answer is yes, then how do I achieve it? It can be done by using a potter’s wheel. Other times starters or first-timers might want to make something a little bit different like a decorative piece, this kind of pottery is best done using one’s hand.
The following steps are what you need to do to make a great piece of pottery;
Concept: Before you start making any piece of ceramics or pottery, you have to first have an idea of what you want it to look like. You have to know the exact size, shape and colour you want to the piece to have a finished product. A lot of times inspiration on what you want you to achieve is usually hard to come by but you can beat that mental block by going online and looking at pictures of similar items or by going to a gallery that sells pottery to inquire how they were made. You can also try out supply stores and discuss with them, by the time you’re done with this, you’ll have an image or a description in mind of what you want to make.
Material: The uniqueness or quality of the piece is only as good as the type of materials you choose to use. In order to do this, you have to select your clay material wisely since it’s the major material needed to make a piece of pottery. There is two class of clay material in use when making potteries; the high fire clay and the low fire clay. The formal supports making pieces with bright colours and detailed decorative but are not good in water, while the latter are poor for bright colours and detailed decorative but have great water retention properties. Some clay materials are also not flexible in terms of remoulding, thus you have to be very picky when selecting the kind you want to use for your piece.
Technique: There are several methods that can be used in the art of pottery making. Each of this method is specifically suited for a particular piece, for example, potter’s wheel is suited for bowl or vase making because of the need to have a symmetric shape. Hand pinching is best suited to small objects like toys. Slab making is used for flat sided objects while coiling is mostly used for objects with hollow or asymmetric shapes.