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Topic Table of Ceramics Information

History | Types | Imports | Influences | Methods

Origin & Meaning
Word Origin
  • Greek keramos, meaning earthenware
Current Meanings
  • - the art and techniques of making and firing
    - clay objects the objects themselves

Historical Information
All agrarian cultures would have needs for food storage.
Vessels and figures are often linked to a community's ceremonies Many ancient works have been found around and in gravesites.
Unless the culture was very advanced with a strong economy, the luxury of pieces of beauty was limited to circles of wealth and power.

Types of Ceramics
Most of the earliest found examples of ceramics are earthenware.
Can be fired in simple kilns at low temperatures
Still porous after firing, and requires a glaze to hold liquid
In colonial America, frequently covered with a lead glaze (subsequent problems with lead poisioning
Natural color often reddish or buff (yellow-white)
Commonly decorated with liquid clay (slip) of contrasting color, through which designs could be incised.
More durable
Waterproof, good for storage and drinking vessels
Fired at a higher temperature than earthenware
Glazed with ordinary salt thrown into the kiln during firing (salt combines with the silica and alumina in the clay)
Can only come from special clay (kaolin)
Requires specialized kilns and high firing temperatures
White in color
Translucent after firing

Imported Pottery to Colonial America
  • Appearance
  • Market
  • Immigration
  • Appearance
  • Market
  • Immigration
  • Appearance
  • Market
  • Immigration

Historical Influences
  • Historical and Cultural Context
  • Uses
  • Vase Shapes
  • Theme
  • Decoration
  • Historical and Cultural Context
  • Uses
  • Appearance and Decoration
  • Historical and Cultural Context
  • Uses
  • Appearance and Decoration

How Pottery is Made
Methods By Hand
  • Pinching
  • Slabs
  • Coils
The Pottery Wheel
  • Throwing
  • Advantages
  • Historical and Cultural Records
  • Glazing
  • Incising
  • Procedure
  • Advantage
Top | History | Types | Imports | Influences | Methods | Ceramics