Pottery is clay that is formed, dried, and fired, usually with a glaze or finish, into a platter, cup, vessel or decorative item - clay pottery. Clay is a naturally formed mineral pulled from the earth's surface. Clay is a product commonly found through the world and was used thousands of years ago by humans to form vessels and tools for holding liquid, food and other domestic needs. The versatility and simple production of clay allowed pottery to be used broadly by all cultures. Thus the connection people have to pottery and clay has existed for thousands of years and is part of every culture.
Clay pottery can be made by hand molding, coiling or pinch pot technique. More advanced techniques are uses of a clay potters wheel or jiggered using a tool that copies the form of a master model onto a production piece. Hand pouring a clay slurry, clay Slip, into a mold and dried, or cut or stamped into squares or slabs also are advanced techniques. Pottery continues to evolve, even after thousands of years of innovation. New glaze with "no-lead" or very low amounts of lead content is a recent advancement for pottery glaze. Improved bisque bodies to correctly mate with these new no-lead glazes also is a vast improvement for pottery. Pottery must be fired to a temperature enabling the clay pottery to contain water. The Additional step of adding pottery glaze to the surface of the clay pottery allows the surface to be impenetrable by liquid, or vitreous. Pottery glazes are made up of natural forming minerals that melt and fuse to the surface of the pottery, thus forming a complete bond where the glaze and clay pottery become one consistent fusing of glaze and clay pottery.
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