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Common Pottery Terms

Pottery refers to the process of making ceramic household items, like dinnerware, as well as more luxurious items, like teapots and vases, out of clay. Clay is a natural material found in the earth that contains a good deal of water moisture. While still wet, the clay resembles mud and in this stage can be shaped using a variety of pottery tools. Once the shape is complete, the clay will be fired in a kiln, which removes all moisture and allows the clay to become hard. Making pottery is a very involved process and some of the terms are listed below.

  • Ceramics – This word comes from the Greek keramikos which translates to of pottery. Earthenware clays were the earliest type of ceramics, but this group also includes stoneware, porcelain and bone china. Ceramics classes are often taught at art centers, giving beginners and intermediate students an outlet to make their own pieces of ceramic artwork out of clay.
  • Porcelain – A type of ceramic mix that is white. Porcelain is often used to make fine dinnerware and tea services like teapots. The finished product is usually adorned with paint.
  • Potters Wheel – A common pottery tool that is used to shape objects. The clay is placed in the center and then spun around while it is being shaped by hand. This process is also called throwing.
  • Potter's Mark – The term used for the stamp, or mark, that an artist gives their product. It is usually a unique symbol limited to a particular artist or pottery house. Outlet stores usually sell a particular mark.
  • Glaze – A special type of paint that is used for ceramics to give them a brilliant sheen of color. The glaze has to be applied after the clay has been fired in the kiln.
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    Created by You
    332 New Dorp Ln, Staten Island, NY 10306
    Paint your own ceramic pottery in a fun and creative studio! We have a wide selection of clay pots, vases, bowls and other ceramic products just waiting for your personal artistic touch. We also host birthday parties.
    (718) 979-1841
    Sara Pottery
    626 S Riverside Dr, Neptune, NJ 07753
    We produces unique handcrafted functional and decorative ware using hand painting, appliques, & carving. Creating special vases, pottery for any occasion.
    (732) 774-4834
    41 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10010
    Are You Looking for The Finest Reproductions of Rare Fine Porcelain and Stoneware? Mottahedeh has been Licensed by The Best to make Fine Porcelain Reproductions
    (800) 242-3050
    Im Pottery Studio & Gallery
    235 Raritan Ave, Highland Park, NJ 08904
    (732) 246-7066
    Darryl's Corner
    Woodbridge, NJ 07095
    (732) 750-9783
    Clay Pot The
    290 Main St, Spotswood, NJ 08884
    (732) 251-5112
    Elegant Baths Showroom - E&B Distributors
    400 Us Highway 22, Bridgewater, NJ 08807
    (732) 469-2266
    Color Me Mine
    438 Springfield Ave, Summit, NJ 07901
    (908) 598-0248
    3535 Us Highway 1 Ste 7, Princeton, NJ 08540
    (609) 452-7777
    Platypus Pottery School
    284 Beaufort Ave Ste 2, Livingston, NJ 07039
    (973) 597-0001
    Trilium Yarns
    1007 Mount Kemble Ave, Morristown, NJ 07960
    (973) 425-0480
    Everything Paper & Plastic
    24 Nautilus Dr, Leonardo, NJ 07737
    (908) 601-5091
    A Time to Kiln Too
    50 Broad St, Red Bank, NJ 07701
    (732) 450-9525
    That Pottery Place
    217 Clarksville Rd Ste 14, Princeton Junction, NJ 08550
    (609) 716-6200
    Clayworks On Columbia Inc
    195 Columbia St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
    (718) 858-9256

    Pottery can include a wide variety of products such as handmade bowls, ceramic plates, vases, teapots, and stoneware. Some of the earliest known pieces of pottery were figurines and bowls. Today many potters focus on dinnerware, dishes, plates, and vases that combine artistic shaping techniques with decorative colors. Not all potters make their dinnerware, stoneware, and porcelain vases with the same techniques. Some, for instance, only make handmade items. They shape the clay objects by hand on a wheel, add a glaze, and then fire it in a hot kiln. Other companies use mechanized processes to create their products. These pieces of pottery tend to cost less than those made by hand, but many people prefer plates, dishes, and accessories made by highly trained artisans. Many stores also focus on different types of pottery products. Gardening stores for instance, will usually have clay pots, but very few of them will keep antique vases and dishes in stock. Instead, consumers should find antique stores that focus on platters, teapots, vases, and other decorative items that have been discontinued. You can learn more about the pottery companies and artisans that work in your area by using a popular search engine to find their websites. Many professional potters invite customers to come to their studios, where they can watch ceramics being made by hand with a turntable and kiln. This gives individuals and groups the opportunity to learn more about making these products and gives them access to unique designs that they cannot buy anywhere else.
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