Pottery craft originated in ancient times. Numerous archaeological finds confirm that the first handmade clay products belong to the Neolithic era. The durable clay figurines and household items that have survived to this day tell in the brightest colors about the history of the development of an ancient craft, which over time has developed so much that it has become an art.
Pottery in the world
Clay is a common material that nature has generously endowed mankind with. And people have been using it for a long time. At first, they tried to fashion the most necessary items from it (cooking utensils, cups, plates), practical and unpretentious. Over time, after the potter’s wheel was invented and firing methods were discovered, a shapeless piece of clay in the hands of professional craftsmen began to turn into exquisite products.
Each nation is proud of its history of the development of Pottery Studio in NYC, New York. In China, it was known as early as 2000 BC. e. and developed to the highest level, as evidenced by the emergence of the famous Chinese porcelain, which is valued throughout the world.
Famous amphorae, vases, jugs, which have elegant and bizarre shapes, have come down to our days from Ancient Greece. On vases, the ancient Greeks painted whole stories from myths, scenes of everyday life. Various clay working techniques were used. So, on red-figure vases for the image, the natural color of the clay was left, and the background was painted over with black. When creating black-figure products, a picture was applied to reddish clay with black varnish. Such items were considered a luxury, they could be found in the homes of wealthy Greek nobles.
In African countries, clay products were made by hand, then dried in the sun and fired with burning straw. Today, simple shapes and textures, natural colors, animalistic, floral and abstract geometric patterns of African ceramics are in great demand among connoisseurs of beauty.
Pottery in Russia is one of the most important and ancient crafts. At first, the Russians made only jugs, pans, and cups from this natural material. But over time, with the accumulation of experience in working with clay, the craft began to turn into a craft, and not only household goods were produced, but also toys, figurines, and luxury items. Pottery workshops, art studios, creative artels appeared, using various firing methods and clay kneading technologies. As a result, each workshop acquired its own corporate identity, thanks to which many of them are famous throughout the world (Dymkovo toy, Gzhel).
New pottery features
Pottery has long been an important and honorable craft, which could only be done by good craftsmen. It has been constantly improved and developed. But gradually, clay began to be replaced by metal, tin, and then plastic, with which natural material could no longer compete in terms of its price and scope.
It is impossible to imagine that this type of ancient art could completely disappear. However, history is spiraling, and today there is a surge of interest in working with clay. But now pottery reveals itself from a different angle.
If earlier the craft was a source of income, now it is in most cases a way of relaxation, creative self-expression. Along with, of course, the existence of fashionable ceramic workshops that produce truly valuable designer items.
There are a large number of pottery workshops where master classes are held to create simple clay products that do not require special skills and abilities. Such circles are attended by children and adults who want to create beauty with their own hands, decorate their home with clay products and give them to loved ones.