How Our Ancestors Made Pottery
Humans have been creating ceramics and pottery for countless millennia, with evidence to suggest that we first started around 14000 years ago in ancient China and Africa. Primitive pottery was extremely simple but effective, where the clay containers were used to store food during the colder months. It didn’t take long before people began to refine the process, making the pottery stronger, harder, and even adding decorations to make their creations more visually appealing.
The development of ceramic art was tied closely to the social, economic, and cultural development at the time. As a society continued to grow and become a more stable habitat for its people, more and more started to turn to refining their skills, such as creating better forms of pottery and ceramics, with many of these techniques still being used today. Here are the main types of ancient pottery and why they worked as well for our ancestors.
Earthenware is by far the very oldest type of pottery, and can be dated back to the Neolithic times when our ancestors were only starting to learn how to heat and mould clay to their liking. It’s also the softest of them all due to it being heated at a much lower temperatures, between 1000 and 1200 degrees Celsius. Some of the types of ceramics in earthenware include delft, faïence, and maiolica.
Fire at a much higher temperature, stoneware tends to be tougher, harder, and longer lasting. Stoneware is created by firing clay between 1100 and 1300 degrees, providing an environment where the clay can become much harder and denser, and makes for a more robust storage container. On top of this, stoneware is usually coated in a layer of powdered glass before being fired once again, allowing for impermeable surface that makes the container completely waterproof, perfect for long-term storage during the winter months. Due to the way stoneware is created, it can come in a variety of different colours, from dark reds to greys, and sometimes even green, as is seen with celadon ceramics. Because it takes a long time to bake, it gives the creator the perfect opportunity to sit back with some tea to play blackjack online in Canada.
Lastly, we have porcelain, which is one of the most popular forms of ceramics in the world and can be dated back to ancient China. Porcelain is the finest of all the variants, takes longer to make, and is far more brittle, but this also makes it the most valuable. Unlike the other two, porcelain is not usually made to be fully practical, but rather to fuse the worlds of aesthetics and practicality. This is why we have valuable China tea sets, where they can be used for a tea party with friends, but cannot be used as long-term storage vessels due to the fact that they can chip and break extremely easily. Porcelain also has a unique translucence that can only be viewed when held up to the light, and makes a ringing tone when tapped lightly. Porcelain is still made today around the world, but remains most prolific within China.