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What are ceramics made from? Three main types

  • Earthenware
  • Stoneware
  • Porcelain

1. Show web animation describing the differences of earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain (Ceramics animation)

2. Discuss with the students the economics of available materials.

    Why did they import porcelain and not the clay? (weight and value)

    Extension activity: The economics of trade -

    • Class brings in food labels, look for address of distributor
    • Find addresses on map
    • Use "Yahoo maps" to plot distance from distributor to classroom (school address)
    • Estimate the number of gallons of gasoline to drive from distributor to classroom
    • Identify the approximate cost of the item from that distributor
    • How many of an item would you have to sell to pay for the gasoline to drive the distance

3. Discuss why the cobalt blue color was so esteemed (rarity, only available from certain minerals, not found everywhere)

    Extension activity: Many of the items in the Franz Mayer collection were made in Mexico, but still painted with cobalt. Discuss why is it worth it to import the glaze but not the clay?

How are ceramics made?


Pottery tutorial: A beginners guide to the art of ceramics
Includes coil and slab techniques - Could precede a pottery project in class

Two .avi video demonstrations: how to throw a bowl or a cylinder on a potter's wheel
Nice video illustrations of a difficult pottery technique
***These play best on Windows Media Player (They don't play well on RealPlayer)