This blog represents the official view of the voices in my head.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Mom look a potter

There i was busy sitting on my pottery wheel...hands gooey ....a strand or two of my hair coated with wet clay may be a bit on nose too...and suddenly i heard this squeal of delight ....looked up and saw a kid standing and looking at me in awe...and then he almost whispered to his Mother..."Mom look a potter" was so amusing.....even today when i am sitting on wheel alongside my friend throwing a pot...lot of people who come to studio stand and watch .....and times like this i thank god for fulfilling one of my wishes....i so wanted to be a potter ....whenever i saw someone playing with clay on wheel ....churning out those wonderful earthenware....i used to promise day i will learn to do that...and i did..often friends ask me how do you make a pot? put clay on wheel and then make one? *sigh* only if it was that let me explain process involved in making a pot on wheel....or in technical lingo its called "throwing a pot"
Tossing a little clay on the wheel, then doing something with your hands in a sensual kind of way would be a poetic defination of Pottery. In case you never tried it by yourself, you’d be amazed, how much effort it actually takes to produce a decent piece of pottery.To take that wonderful mass of clay... to squeeze, pound, knead and roll it into a functional or decorative art work is a tremendously satisfying experience.

The first thing you need to do before making pots is to prepare your clay... Clay often has air bubbles trapped in it..... The air in these bubbles will expand when the clay is exposed to heat. Shortly the pot will explode..... Also there may be wetter or dryer spots in the clay.. These must be mixed to develop a uniform consistency throughout the clay.. Knead your clay on a hard smooth surface like a table top which is covered with a piece of canvas to prevent the clay from sticking to the table. The process is just like kneading bread or cookie dough..Then fold the clay back on itself and repeat this process until the clay feels uniform in texture and wetness and forms a smooth ball. Once prepared can make pot either by hand or on the potter's wheel, it will retain the imprints and shaping of the potter's hands, gradually becoming stiffer and harder as water evaporates from the clay...Once its have to finish and refine it with various tools.To achieve a durable, lasting creation, the potter must now kiln fire his work. This concentrated application of heat causes chemical changes which render the clay hard, rock-like and durable..In order to make the ware more attractive and functional, the potter next coats his work with glaze and kiln fires it once again.

There are three major pottery types [ on wheel] (1) earthenware (2) stoneware (3) porcelain. Each type is distinguished by its clay mixture and the temperature at which it is baked or fired. Earthenware is a pottery clay mixture that is fired at a lower temperature. The low baking temperature allows the use of colorful glazes, but also yields a pottery that cracks and chips more easily than other types.Earthenware pottery is quite porous, so it won't hold water unless glazed.

Stoneware pottery is made of a heavier clay mixture that gives it greater strength. Stoneware is fired at a much higher temperature to give a harder finish. Stoneware pottery that is unglazed is, by contrast, non porous..Although an unglazed stoneware cup will hold water, most potters glaze their stoneware pieces to give it a smoother and more attractive appearance
Porcelain is the purest and the most delicate type of pottery. It is formed from koalin, a fine white clay, that is mixed with controlled amounts of feldspar and flint and then fired at a low temperature. Porcelain also becomes translucent upon firing giving it the appearance of fine, smooth bone china.

To understand and view complete process involved in maing a pot click on following link .
Let me end this blog my what else but a poem.

Take a little clay put it on the wheel, get a little hint how gods must feel,
Takes some patience and some skill, apply some pressure and some thrill
give a little turn listen to it spin, make it in the shape you want it in.
Earth and water and wind conspire, with human hand and love and fire.
And there you have your pot now put it out on your favorite spot

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