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Pottery - its history

Pottery has been a part of human civilization for thousands of years, with its roots dating back to the Neolithic era. It is a form of art that has been passed down through generations and has stood the test of time. Pottery is not just a practical art form, but it also holds a lot of cultural and historical significance. From ancient civilizations to modern-day, pottery has always been a part of human life, and its appeal remains as strong as ever.

The history of pottery can be traced back to around 10,000 BC, when humans first discovered how to create vessels from clay. These early pots were made using the pinch and coil technique, which involved pinching a ball of clay into the desired shape and then coiling more clay around it. The pots were then dried in the sun and fired in an open flame. The first pots

were simple and functional, but over time, they became more ornate and decorative.


As civilizations developed, pottery became more refined and intricate. In ancient Greece, for example, pottery was highly valued and was often decorated with scenes from mythology and everyday life. The Greek technique of black-figure pottery involved using a black slip to create images on a red clay background. This technique was later replaced by the more intricate red-figure pottery, which involved using a red slip to create the images on a black background.

In China, pottery has a long and rich history that dates back to the Neolithic era. Chinese pottery is known for its intricate designs and glazes, and it has been highly prized for centuries. The Chinese invented the technique of celadon, which involves firing pottery in a reducing atmosphere to create a glaze that ranges from pale green to blue-grey. This technique was later adopted by other cultures and remains popular today.


Pottery has also played an important role in religious and ceremonial practices throughout history. In ancient Egypt, pottery was used to hold offerings to the gods and to preserve the organs of the deceased during the mummification process. In Native American cultures, pottery was used to create ritual objects and to hold sacred substances. In many cultures, pottery was also used to create funerary urns to hold the ashes of the deceased.

Today, pottery remains a popular art form and a valuable craft. It is used for both practical and decorative purposes, and it is highly valued by collectors and art enthusiasts. Pottery continues to evolve and change with new techniques and technologies, but it remains a timeless art form that connects us to our past and to the natural world.


So why do we love pottery? There are many reasons. Pottery is a tangible connection to our past and to the ancient civilizations that came before us. It is a reflection of our culture, our history, and our artistic traditions. Pottery is also a highly versatile art form, capable of creating both functional objects and works of art that are highly valued for their beauty and craftsmanship.

In addition, pottery is a highly tactile art form. The act of shaping clay with our hands is a deeply satisfying experience, and the final product is something that we can hold, touch, and use in our daily lives. Pottery is also a highly personal art form, allowing us to express our individuality and creativity in a way that is unique to each of us.


In conclusion, pottery has been an important part of human civilization for thousands of years, and its appeal remains as strong as ever. From the early pinch and coil pots of the Neolithic era to the intricate celadon pottery of ancient China, pottery has evolved and changed with the times, but it has always remained a cherished and valued art form. Whether we use pottery for practical purposes or simply enjoy it for its beauty and craftsmanship, it is a tangible connection to our past and to the natural world, and it will continue to hold us spellbound for many centuries to come.

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