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Artscolumbia / Applied arts  / Ceramics

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.

Bernard Palissy, Prophet of Modern Ceramics

We have witnessed during the past two decades a rare, but not un precedented, historical occurrence, the transmutation of a popular craft in to a fine art. Photography. On similar occurrences pivot the histories of the arts. The nineteenth century saw the birth of classical ballet, the eighteenth heard the transformation of music, the seventeenth, opera and drama. One could catalogue them. All signs indicate that we are about to see another, this time in ceramics. The breakthrough in that field began about a hundred years ago, more or less simultaneously, in France, England, and the United States. Its leaders, as has so often been the case in such movements, thought of themselves as revivers or restorers rather than creators....

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Ancient Egyptian cermamics

This is essentially an age of discovery, but it is likewise an age for the revision of paat theories. Such a statement ie particularly true of our knowledge of ancient pottery ; for while, on the one hand, we find the archaeologist studying every modem craft in order to obtain hints ав to ancient methods, on the other hand wo have many modern, craftsmen keen enough about the development of their own craft who are able to throw light on the work of their fellows in remote antiquity. Ae such a craftsman, therefore, and not as an Egyptologist who finds valuable material in the commonest potsherds for hie reconstruc tion of an ancient civilisation, I venture to. address you. It...

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Time in Mid-Twentieth Century Ceramics

When Peter Voulkos (1924-2002) was an undergraduate ceramics major at Montana State University in the late 1940». the students dug and processed their own day and developed their own glazes. The necessity of this entirely do-it-yourself approach may seem remote now. but ceramics, like many of the traditional crafts, had been largely displaced by-the industrial revolution. In la» Angeles, where Voulkos would establish his mature practice, dsc arcJretypil potters tool—the wheel—was largely unknown for much of rise twentieth century, and throwing on the wheel became widespread only in the laic 1940s.1 In addition, casy-to-manipulatc. low-fire earthenware was favored over more exacting stoneware, and even high-firc kilns were extremely scarec. Consequently. Voulkos was part of a generation that was more rediscovering...

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Glazed calcareous clay ceramics from critille, Turkey

The twelfth and thirteenth centuries constitute a high point in the history of Islamic ceramics, with finely pot ted and decorated fritwarrs produced in both Syria and Iran. The widespread production of fine-lxdicd fril wares (also known as artificial paste or stonepaste-bodicd ceramics) and techniques either new (nnderglac paint ing. ajourc. and mina^i) or refined to new heights (luster and molded wares) base focused deserved attention on these two areas. Here we will examine the production of glazed ceramics in Svria and thejazira in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries by examining pan of a sample of glazed ceramics found during excavations at the south eastern Turkish site of Gritille. Until its recent flooding by the waters of the Ataturk Dain,...

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Blue-and-White Islamic Pottery on Chinese Themes

The great traditions ol Chinese porcelain have inspired over the centuries a wide variety of imitators. At times in the history of art an imitative tradition, beginning as a backward look toward past glories in faraway lands, takes its own (orm and shape, developing into a major creative force with new directions. Such is in part the case in the Ottoman Turkish tow n of Izmk, where the local potters began beiore the year 1500 to produce pottery wares inspired by Chinese blue-and-white porcelain, whir h also began to appear itself in the inventories of the palace of the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul around the same time. To imitate porcelain, let alone the great Chinese porcelain, has always been an...

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Contemporary central mexican ceramics : A view from the past

This is an exploratory paper, a unique diachronic study of glazed (usually lead glaze), low-fired earthenwares of central Mexico. Seifert (1974) has demonstrated that most research on these wares has utilised a synchronic approach to study the technology, the aesthetics, and the sociocultural framework associated with the production of the pottery. Although not always formally stated it is generally assumed that the modem ceramic complexes have a substantial time depth and reflect a synthesis of Spanish and indigenous traditions which occurred during the first century following the conquest. Archaeological data which clarify the trends in the historical development of glazed earthenwares will validate or modify hypotheses put forward on the nature of ceramic syncretism after the conquest primarily using contemporary...

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Marketing Ceramics in North America

On April 1980, the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum and the Hagley Museum and Library cospon- sored a conference on the marketing of ceramics in North America. Four of the papers from that con ference have been brought together in this issue of WinUrthur Portfolio. 1 he objective of the conference was to view ceramics in terms of consumption rather than pro duction, technology, or t limnology of forms. Ceramic studies were traditionally dominated by questions of identification and attribution, con cerns that grew out of 1 fie needs of collectors, who want to know how old a vessel is. who made it. and fiow it was made. Such questions created the de mand for research into chronologies, typologies,...

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The Use of Documents in Ceramic Analysis

In putting POTS together, documentary sources have served as texts. In these sources, the manner in which their authors categorized a small part of the material world (which happens to be ubiquitous on archae ological sites) could be approximated. The application of POTS to an excavated assem blage. or any other sort of explication of archaeological material from an historic period site, should also proceed with the documents in mind. Here, however, the archaeologist will be on more familiar ground, using the historical record, initially at least, as a source of data about the artifactual contents of the past. Doing history with objects is con siderably easier and the results certainly more complete if the historical record is used to...

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A vessel typology for early chesapeake ceramics:The potomac typological system

This paper is the result of a general dissatisfaction with the way in which archaeologists working on colonial Chesapeake sites (includ ing the authors) have typically analyzed their excavated ceramics. Historical archaeologists spend considerable time excavating, sorting and gluing together pots. Yet there is very little to show for it. save the contents of exhibit cases. While architectural data from a number of sites excavated in the Chesapeake are beginning to increase the understanding of the effects in daily life of demographic and economic instability (Carson et al. 1981) and of changing social relations between planters, their laborers and their neighbors (Neiman 1980; Upton 1979). it is impossible to cite any similarly systematic contributions based on ceramic analysis. The failure...

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The Oldest Ceramics

See our new blob: Tile Kilns History Twitter: Tile Kilns: Read the full article on our blob. The oldest Ceramics The most beautiful of ancient art are the Venus Figurines of Ancient Europe which were carved around 30 000 years ago from the upper Paleolithic period (Late stone age 40-kaka) and have been found from Spain to Siberia. These items were either carved from stone, bone or ivory, or molded in clay and fired. These figurines are among the oldest ceramics known. These were in all likelihood fired in very primitive kilns, probably no more than a hollow in a mundane or by pit firing in a trench. The Venus of Dolan isotonic is the very oldest ceramic known. This figurine,...

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Pottery and Ceramics

The wonderful world of Ceramics Imagine waking up in the morning, making a cup of coffee, going to pour it, Ceramics are all around you, in the littlest things. Some familiar things include, your grandma's teeth, your teddy bears eyeballs, and even what you eat your dinner on. Now close your eyes and imagine the world without those things. Crazy, isn't it? Ceramics is the art of making pottery. They are made of nonmetallic minerals or in horn, clay, which have been hardened by firing them at very very high temperatures. Most ceramics even resist the flow of electric current! Ceramics are made out of clay that is molded, left to dry, and then put in the kiln. A kiln is...

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Ceramics report

Hence, the word Karakas as to infer 'burned substance' or 'burned earth'. Ceramics are things made from clay, the basic material for all ceramic creations. The clay is created as a result of the decomposition of igneous rock, which makes up the entire earth's crust. Everything you will do with clay involves the interplay of these 3 variables: Moisture Plasticity Heat History Ceramics is one of the most ancient industries on the planet. Once humans discovered that clay could be dug up and formed into objects by first mixing with water and then firing, the industry was born. As early as 24,000 BC, animal and unman figurines were made from clay and other materials, then fired in kilns partially dug into...

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Vase painters were only interested in glorifying war

Although it is true that the Greeks perceived war as a glorious display of heroism and a just way to settle disputes and face the enemy, the extent to which vase painters glorified the subject matter is debateable. As well as displaying the valour of many heroic figures in battle, many vase paintings display the horror and suffering associated with war; of the effect it has on wives, children, mothers and fathers, and friends. The Sophilos Dinos depicts 'The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis' (580 BC); a joyous wedding procession, yet with an air of foreboding of war - it is here where Hera, Athena and Aphrodite will argue as to who is the most beautiful, setting up the judgement of...

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C is for Ceramics

Ceramics—with its brilliant colours, innovative designs, and varied forms is among the most enduring and fascinating of the decorative arts. Artistic expression has been hugely prevalent in society since the early man drew paintings on a cave wall. It is ever-present in the world, and its magical lure has impacted societies forever. Nothing ever begins a perfect form, and just as ceramics has evolved over the course of American History, so too, has America’s appreciation of it. Through the ages, ceramics has been the most enduring and important American art form due to the grand effect it has on society. From its earliest beginnings in the seventeenth century, ceramics development in America was as diverse as the newly arrived settlers from...

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