Pottery wheels were invented in Mesopotamia sometime between 6,000 and 4,000 BCE and revolutionized pottery production. Pottery itself is ancient art, as porcelain can be dated back to China during the Tang Dynasty (618 to 906 CE). Today the trade remains vital and pottery supplies including paragon kilns, pottery glazes and clay for sale are available in abundance.
Pottery can be shaped by a range of methods, including hand shaping, injection molding, casting and throwing on a pottery wheels. It is possible for pottery to be constructed by hand from coils of clay, combining flat slabs of clay, or pinching solid balls of clay or some combination of these.
In a process called “throwing,” which comes from the Old English word thrawan, which means to twist or turn. Popularized in the now classic scene from the film ghost, a ball of clay is placed in the center of pottery wheels, rotated with a stick, with foot power or with a variable speed electric motor.
Beginning with pottery wheels, pottery involves forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln, which serves to removes the water from the clay, which then induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including strength and hardening and setting the shape. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing. Prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared.
Kneading helps to make sure that there is an even amount of moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. This is called de airing and can be accomplished by a machine called a vacuum pug or also manually by wedging. Wedging can also help produce an even moisture content.
Once a clay body has been kneaded and the air has been taken out or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After shaping it is dried and then fired. Are you in the market for pottery wheels? Begin your search today.