Buy a Pottery Wheel and Make Your Own Masterpiece

Written by News Channel 2 on December 13, 2013. Posted in Olympic kilns, Potters wheels, Pottery wheel for sale

Landl kilns

Pottery is as ancient as pre-literate cultures. Prehistoric people used pottery to cook, preserve, and eat their food, as well as brew drinks and soups. While the uses of pottery have changed over the years, many cultures still utilize it for the same purposes today. This is not always because they do not have access to other kitchenware, but rather because it is engrained in the fiber of their civilization’s way of life.

But a large number of people buy pottery, or invest in pottery making, for aesthetic purposes. In a home, mantles and shelves often hold chalices and pots from vintage or artsy stores, and have a story about their origin. The material used to make the item and its design usually point to a geographical area of the world, and can tell historians much about the time period it was made in. For example, a glazed stoneware piece could have its roots in early 15th century China, where it was first being created. This was also around the time that kilns that could fire at higher temperatures were developed, allowing a glaze to set. These important details help historians determine the evolution of pottery, and speak volumes about the people of China in the 1400s.

Because pottery making can be an expression of a person’s creativity and lifestyle, it is a popular choice for people who love to work with their hands. Many people like manipulating clay because of its smooth, cool texture, and they find it soothing. Hand building wares can be shaped by squeezing balls of clay together, joining large chunks of clay, connecting coils of clay, or any combination of these. You can also mix in additives, such soil, before firing the ware to give it a particular texture. The clay can be made of several different materials, which can also affect how it reacts to a kiln. Most clay bodies can be decorated before you put it in a pottery kiln, or afterward, without damaging your design.

Another popular method of pottery making involves using pottery wheels. These machines have a turntable that is attached to either a manpowered stick that a potter rotates, or an electric motor that does it automatically. As the clay spins, it is pulled and stretched into a hollow shape. This shape is manipulated by a skilled potter, and a pottery wheel can be difficult for beginners to control because of its swift motion. Once the ware has been formed, it can head to a kiln to be fired, and like most pottery, it can be coated with a pottery glaze to add luster and shine.

If you are interested in learning pottery, find a local art store and see if they offer classes in pottery making. Once you get the hang of it, most of these stores also have pottery wheels for sale, or electric kilns that you can buy for home purposes. After you learn how to use a pottery wheel or shape clay with your hands, you can begin to create your own masterpieces at home. Who knows; one day, your pottery could end up on someone else’s mantle, and tell a story of its own.

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