Quick! What is the first image that comes to your head when you see the word “pottery”? If my telekinesis has not failed me, you thought of Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze in the movie Ghost, right? Me too.
Though a pottery wheel might be the most famous tool in all of ceramics thanks to that one very memorable scene, a pottery kiln might be even more important. When it comes to ceramics and pottery supplies, a kiln is paramount because it is the chamber where the clay get heated before cooling, hardening and finally solidify into its finished form. When looking for a new pottery kiln to complete your home ceramics studio, here are five quick facts in to keep in mind.
1. What are ceramics, exactly?
A ceramic, by definition, is an inorganic solid substance created from heating and subsequent cooling. People across the world have used made ceramic tools and artwork for centuries, including the earliest known civilizations on the planet. Pottery is one form of ceramic-making that involves shaping and decorating clay into solid objects.
2. Wait a minute, what about those pottery wheels?
You need pottery wheels in order to form the clay the way you want it. You start by placing a ball of clay in the center of the rotating wheel-head, then begin to spin it via a foot pedal, stick or electric motor. This process is called “throwing” and dates back to the Old English term “thrawan,” which means twisting or turning.
3. So where does the pottery kiln come in?
You will not need the pottery kiln until the clay need to be heated. Until that time, you can decorate the clay all you want with different designs, patterns or shapes. You can also decorate it after the firing, as it will not affect the finished product once it is cooled.
4. What kinds of pottery are there?
You can use a pottery kiln to make three main types: earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. Earthenware can be fired in a pottery kiln up to about 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit and is used for tableware and other decor. Stoneware is a ceramic made from non-refractory fire clay. Porcelain is known for its smoothness and shininess which come from adding glass to the fired body.
So know you know, generally, how to make pottery. Now, load up on clay and other supplies and get yourself a prime pottery kiln. You will be living out your own Ghost fantasy in no time! More research here.