Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery (plural “potteries”).
Pottery is one of the oldest human invention, originating before the Neolithic period. Pottery may well have been discovered independently in various places, probably by accidentally creating it at the bottom of fires on a clay soil.
Pottery is made by forming a ceramic (often clay) body into objects of a desired shape and heating them to high temperatures (1000-1600 degrees Celsius) in a kiln which evaporates all the water from the clay and induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing the strength and solidity of the object’s shape.
A clay body can be decorated before or after firing; however, prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared. Kneading helps to ensure an even moisture content throughout the body. Air trapped within the clay body needs to be removed. This is called de-airing and can be accomplished either by a machine called a vacuum pug or manually by wedging. Wedging can also help produce an even moisture content. Once a clay body has been kneaded and de-aired or wedged, it is shaped by a variety of techniques. After it has been shaped, it is dried and then fired.
You can visit one of the last potter in Tripoli and Lebanon, Abou Elias in his atelier in El Mina Tripoli. Phone number: 06 206169