Pottery is the ceramic material which makes up pottery wares, including earthenware , stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made is also called a pottery (plural "potteries"). Pottery also refers to the art or craft of a potter or the manufacturing of pottery.
An Ancient Art
Pottery as one of the ancient arts of human being has been practiced since the dawn of man. It was practiced to meet their daily needs, and potters have been forming vessels from clay bodies for millions of years. They made whatever they needed out of clay. Since containers and dishes made out of clay were not made using a potter’s wheel, and they were not fired in a kiln, they were very fragile.
Pottery is made by forming a clay body into objects of a desired shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay. This induces reactions that lead to permanent changes, including increasing their strength, hardening and setting their shape. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing. Prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared.
The potter can form his product in one of many ways. Clay may be molded by hand or with the assistance of a potter's wheel, may be jiggered using a tool that copies the form of a master model onto a production piece, may be poured into a mold and dried, or cut or stamped into squares or slabs. The methods for forming pottery are as varied as the artisans who create them.
Pottery must be fired to a temperature high enough to mature the clay, meaning that the high temperature hardens the piece to enable it to hold water. An integral part of this firing is the addition of liquid glaze (it may be painted on or dipped in the glaze) to the surface of the unfired pot, which changes chemical composition and fuses to the surface of the fired pot. Then, the pottery is called vitreous, meaning it can hold water.
Pottery in Iran is considered as a cultural heritage with a history that goes back to 10,000 B.C. During the Seljuk dynasty a new chapter began in the history of art and the pottery industry underwent a big change. Pottery works of that era are among the best and most beautiful. Nowadays, artists use clay as a tool of expressing their emotions and reflect their creativity in their works.