• Ceramics (noun and adjective) are those
things made from materials which are
permanently changed when heated.
• Changes are on the molecular level, which
also changes the physical characteristics of the
• A ceramic is
an inorganic, nonmetallic solid prepared by
the action of heat and subsequent
cooling. Ceramic materials may have a
crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or
may be shapeless (e.g., a glass).
• Unlike metals and glass, pottery(ceramics) can not be
melted down and re-used - once broken, it is thrown
away. Also unlike metals, it can not rust/decay, and
unlike wood and other materials, pottery can not rot.
Hence it is generally the most common find on a
particular archaeological site.
• Because clay is easy to shape and decorate, pottery
always reflects contemporary tastes and cultural
ideals and so it is an ideal subject of art-historical
study. Different shapes and decorations were used at
different times, by different people, and for different
purposes. So by studying pottery, archaeologists can
date their sites and say a great deal about ancient
cultures. It provides information about
technology, industry, art, diet and a host of other
attributes of ancient cultures.
• It is a glassy coating on pottery, the primary
purposes of which are decoration and protection.
• One important use of glaze is to render porous
pottery vessels impermeable to water and other
• It may be applied by dusting the unfired
composition over the ware or by
spraying, dipping, trailing or brushing on a
thin slurry composed of the unfired glaze and
• The color of a glaze before it has been fired
may be significantly different than afterward.
To prevent glazed wares sticking to kiln
furniture during firing, either a small part of
the object being fired (for example, the foot)
is left unglazed used as supports. These are
removed and discarded after the firing.
• Glazes are the most often used form of
pottery decoration. They come in a huge
variety, including nearly every color
imaginable and many types of textures.
• Slip tailing is one of the most widely known
and used methods of decorating with slip. Slip
trailing delivers a stream of slip to damp or
leather-hard clay through some type of
• This dispenser can be a large-bore syringe
(needle) such as a bottle with a nozzle such as
used for condiments or glue. In either
case, the dispenser's opening must be wide
enough so that it won't easily clog. In
addition, the slip used consist of fairly fine
particles also, again in order to reduce
• A slip is a suspension in water of clay and/or
other materials used in the production of
ceramic ware. sodium silicate, can be added to
the slip to disperse (defuse, solve, go away) the
raw material particles.
• This allows a higher solids content to be used.
• It combined with glazed often to make
decorative effect. like icing to a cake.
• There are many interesting and diverse pottery
decorating techniques involving the use of slips.
Effects range from very linear to very
textural, and from very fluid to quite hard-edged.
• Porcelain ware
• The earliest forms of pottery were made from
clays that were fired at low temperatures in
pit-fires or in open bonfires.
• They were hand formed and undecorated.
Because the bisque (base or main) form of
earthenware is porous, it has limited utility for
storage of liquids.
• Glazed Stoneware was being created as early
as the 15th century BCE in China. This
achievement coincided with kilns that could
be fired at higher temperatures
• Called stone ware because of its stone like
character. They are dense than earthen ware.
• They are in grey but after firing turn into
• Chinese ware
• Made of white Chinese clay
• Opaque (not clear, dense) than stone ware
• The color mainly made of “Gosu” (cobalt oxide) is
used in under glazed decoration.
• The decorative techniques include drawing,
shading (dami), transfer printing, stamping and
• The term “Under glaze” means a picture is drawn
under the glaze.
• Under glazed ceramics made only use of gosu are
• Luster-painting is a unique contribution of the
• It became an important paint for ceramics
from about 800AD, but was used on glass in
Egypt and Iraq before this date.
• Luster pigment is a compound of silver, copper
and iron oxide in a refractory earth kept
together by gum.
• It is applied to the glazed surface of a
previously fired vessel.
• The painted object is then refried to a red
heat in a reducing atmosphere in the small
specially constructed kiln used only for this
• In the second "firing" the metals are bonded
to the glaze as a thin layer with a strongly
metallic luster, the refractory earths can then
be brushed off.
Probably one of the most beautiful types of Iranian pottery that
was produced during the Seljuq period is that of overglaze-
In Persian the names of mināi (enamel), or haft-rangi, (seven
colours) are used.
• Pour the glaze over the clay and fire the piece in a
• The glaze comes in different colors and textures
besides white, such as turquoise, black and lapis
lazuli (dark blue). They can be used according to
• There are two kinds of firing techniques:
oxidation and reduction. They form color changes
on the fired piece.
• The clay shrinks about 10 % when it is fired, and
becomes very hard.
• In the case of porcelain, the body becomes less
absorbent, white and more transparent.
2. Cutting or incising
c) Carved relief
• Sgraffito (noun) is the technique of incising
down through a layer of applied slip to the
clay body below, in which the clay and slip are
of contrasting colors.
• The term is from the Latin for scratch (as with
a stylus) which is also the root for "graffiti"
and "graphic" (as in to write).