History of the Man-Made Ceramic

By: Mitch Johnson

Ceramics has existed for a long period of time. In this article we will learn about the history of ceramic.

Archeologists have uncovered the pottery remains of societies which antedate recorded history by hundreds of centuries. Some of these primitive jugs and bowls were made when man still did his hunting with stone axes. The ravages of time have not marred their utilitarian beauty, for when a ceramic article is fired properly it is converted into one of the most indestructible of ordinary things. When it is shaped with imagination and skill, it can become a work of exquisite beauty.

Today it is possible for anyone, in his spare time, to produce eye-pleasing ceramic objects for the home from simple ash trays to complete sets of dinnerware. With the advantages of modern technology, the do-it-yourself hobbyist can make ceramic pieces which until recently could only be turned out by the full-time professional. Best of all, perhaps, is that ceramics as a hobby is satisfying and exciting fun.

Despite the many innovations easy-to-apply colors and glazes, electric kilns, prepared clays enjoyed by hobbyists today, the basic methods of ceramic manufacture have not changed since the days of prehistoric man. They have been improved, embellished upon, but not essentially changed.

Of course, there is no precise history of how or when man added pottery-making to his repertoire of skills. For millions of years he used what he found lying about him, such things as seashells and gourds, to transport his precious water supply. Thus, it is not surprising that the earliest examples of earthenware are modeled after these naturally formed vessels.

In all probability, man stumbled across this revolutionary discovery as the result of some fortunate accident. Perhaps some cave children were playing by a river bank, making mud pies as youngsters still do. Maybe one inventive child shaped his mud pie after a gourd shell and left his handiwork in the sun for a few days, where it was baked into the first man-made ceramic bowl capable of holding water.

In virtually every known primitive culture the secret of making clay pottery was known. It was learned either by word of mouth or discovered independently. The tribes-people took such clay as they could find on the surface of the ground, or by some river bed, and spread it out on stone slabs. Then they picked out the rocky fragments and beat it with the hands or sticks to fashion it into the shapes they needed or fancy dictated. For ages, the tools and techniques were of the simplest: the fingers for shaping or building up vessels and a piece of mat or basketwork on which to work.

Then some original genius of the tribe found that by turning his support he could bring every part under his hand in succession. The potter's wheel was born.

It was so amazing to know, how the ceramic was made in the beginning of time. But whatever the process are, it has created a beautiful pieces to decorate our living room.

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Mitch Johnson is a regular writer for www.curtains-n-drapes.com/ , www.ceramicsforu.info/ , www.goodbudgetholiday.info/

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