What Is Ceramic Art?
Ceramic Art is a true wonder that humans, without the means that we have today, discovered many years ago. They had genuine love towards the beauty, which helped them to come up with the stunning examples of ceramics. Today, many clay objects are created in factories and are available everywhere. However, in the past, artists had to work with a very few tools and materials to create the work of art.
The term “ceramic” is originated from the Greek word meaning “pottery” and refers to creating dinnerware, figurines or sculptures from clay. Classical ceramics are inorganic and nonmetallic solids that possess a lot of valuable qualities such as very high hardness and strength, immensely high melting points, and excellent electrical insulation which makes this material very popular among artists.
The process of crafting pottery items is quite straightforward. The first step is digging clay from the ground; then the one should mix the material with water and fire it in a kiln after shaping clay in a mold. When the object has the desired shape, the artist can decorate it with glaze or use different methods to bedeck the item. To make glaze harder, the master should rebake the object.
What Are the Different Types of Pottery?
There are three main kinds of pottery: earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain (these can also be called low fire, midrange, and high fire).
Earthenware appeared at the Stone Age and is considered to be one of the earliest types of ceramic art. Commonly, earthenware clay consists of 25% of ball clay, 28% of kaolin, 32% of quartz, and 15% of feldspar. It is very soft and requires the lowest heat during the crafting process. Earthenware is used largely for tableware and fancy or beautifying objects. The items from the earthenware usually contain pores. To get rid of porosity, the fired object goes through various processes, that help the master to obtain the desired results. The clay contains the iron; therefore the object can become red, cream or black, depending on the amount of iron in the material and the heat of the kiln.
Stoneware clay is dense and is fired at a high temperature until it looks like glass. After firing stoneware becomes waterproof and the artist can proceed to its decoration. By using a glaze, it is possible to apply any color to the item. Generally, stoneware is used for making tableware rather than fine art. The earliest stoneware was created in China, approximately in 1400 BC.
Porcelain is a very solid and crystalline white ceramic. This is fired in a kiln to between 1,200 – 1,450°C (a little higher than a stoneware). After firing process, the objects are decorated using glazes and fired again. The color of genuine porcelain clay can be either white or cream. After firing it becomes white. The earliest objects of porcelain appeared in China around 1600 BC. Porcelain was often used to make bowls, cups, vases and other works of fine art.