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Clay Pottery.

Clay pottery is the ceramic ware made by the potter. Pottery making has been around for a very long time.

Early pottery was made by hand and fired in bonfires in Neolithic times. The clay had coarse elements in it to reduce shrinkage and cracking. Temperatures were believed to have reached over 850 degrees. You can see pit fired pottery today in Mexico.

Black pottery - pit fired ware from Oaxaca Mexico

Some other types of pottery includes coil pottery, terracotta pottery, pottery from molds. You will see some examples on these pages.

It is understood that at a later date pottery was fired in pits. The pits maintained heat and allowed better control of the firing.

The making of clay form was transformed by the invention of the pottery wheel in Mesopotamia around 3000 BC. By 2000 BC at the beginning of the Bronze Age a faster wheel was being used in Europe and Asia.

There are a number of key influences on pottery through out time.

Early pottery from Greece was a large influence on the craft. The pottery was initially un-decorated before they perfected the black figure pottery designs and then red figure designs.

At around 100 AD North Africa was a key influence. In 700 AD potters in China were making porcelain.

Glazes were invented and being used around this time, firstly in West Asia and a little later in Europe and China. Wedgwood plate

Stoke on Trent has been the big influence in the UK. Stoke has had over 1500 potteries in its time including Wedgewood and Doulton.

Other UK potteries with history include Poole and Portmeirion.

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