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    About the artist     About pottery

    Pottery is one of the oldest professions in the world.
    Man has learned to make products of clay in the Neolithic period (9000-5000 BC), as evidenced by the extant vessels, and fragments thereof.
    The cradle of ceramics is considered to be China, and the earliest samples, covered with enamel, were found in Egypt. As for the Old Russia, it is an archaeological fact that already in the 3 rd millennium BC there was a black polished pottery, which was used for ritual and ceremonial purposes. Among the unique Russian household items made of ceramics are the so-called kvasniki (vessels for storage of cabbage, home brew, beer, yeast or fruit).

    The basis of pottery is clay. Mixed with water it forms a plastic mass, which retains well the shape given to it. Clay is a sedimentary rock, which contains impurities of mineral and organic origin. Clay possesses such basic characteristics as plasticity, shrinkage, fire resistance, sintering behavior, color and texture.

    Initially, clay was hand-molded, but the invention of the potter's wheel in the third millennium BC led to advanced manufacturing process of products: the walls of jars became thinner and the shapes of products more diverse. Ever since the main design of potter's wheel hardly changed, the changes affected mainly the type of drive. Gone are the wheels with handwheel-faceplate, which was activated by assistants (slaves). The mechanical leg wheels are practically not used, giving way to electric ones.

    In addition to the wheel in the arsenal of the modern potter there are a number of different tools and devices. Most widespread tools for molding are stacks, patterns, pottery knives, calipers. For staining brushes, spray guns, airbrushes are used. Contemporary pottery like the old one includes the following phases: search and extraction of raw material, its preparation, production of molding masses, product design, surface treatment, and application of the decoration, glazing, drying and firing in the kiln. For decoration of pottery there are glazing (glass-like coating), overglaze and underglaze colors, engobe (clay color), luster glaze (coatings based on metal oxides).

    There are 3 main types of ceramics: majolica, porcelain and faience.
    Majolica is a product of a colored clay (with macro-porous ceramic body), coated with glaze.
    Porcelain is a product of the best varieties of white clay (with pore-free ceramic body), water and gas resistant.
    Faience is a product usually made of white clay (with finely porous ceramic body) coated with a transparent or opaque (dull) glaze. For manufacture of earthenware the same materials as for the production of porcelain (changing only the ratio of components) are used.

    Applications of ceramics are diverse: construction, industry, decoration of houses, interior decoration, construction equipment, household utensils, etc. However, ceramics has not just utilitarian role.

    Pottery is of great importance in the development of human creativity. Making art objects is one of the oldest forms of art, to which very few people can remain indifferent. Actually works of decorative and applied art of ceramics surround us at home and at work, bringing us esthetic pleasure.

    In recent years the pottery courses have become very popular. They represent not only a fascinating creative process, but also serve as an inexhaustible source of positive emotions that are so necessary to modern man.

    
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