Chinese Pottery:

In China pottery was used not only to create items of utility but it also became a subject of fine art. No other work of the modern times has been able to equal the great work of the royal potters.

Japanese Pottery:

At the beginning of the 17th century potters came from Korea and settled in various parts of Japan. Potteries of different kinds arose in different parts of Japan.

European Pottery:

No noteworthy earthenware was produced in Europe since its inception until about AD 712. After that the Moors crossed over from Africa into Spain and impressed their Muslim culture on Southwestern Europe for about 800 years. Hispano-Moresque, the creation of the moorish potters in Spain affected the European ceramic design to a large extent. As trading was prevalent the earthenware of China and Japan entered Europe. This resulted in such an intense craze for fine porcelain with the Kings and Emperors that it came to be known as the �china mania.� The Kings competed with each other in order to get hold of the trade secret of the true porcelain which the Asians jealously guarded.

American Pottery:

An American art pottery movement took shape during the second half of the 19th century. It was spearheaded by women. Cincinnati and Ohio were the birthplaces of this artistic movement. It was then that Mary Louise McLaughlin founded the Cincinnati Pottery Club in 1879 and after a year Maria Longworth Nichols started the Rookwood Pottery, which later became very famous.

John Astbury (1688�1743) and his son Thomas produced English earthenware from about 1725. He established a single-kiln pottery at Shelton in the same year. His ware was better formed, better finished and better surfaced.

Spanish Pottery:

The earthenware of Spain may be classified into two classes:

  • Lustreware
  • Painted tin glazed ware.
Astbury Pottery:

John Astbury (1688�1743) and his son Thomas produced English earthenware from about 1725. He established a single-kiln pottery at Shelton in the same year. His ware was better formed, better finished and better surfaced.

Forming, Processes and Techniques:

The following steps are followed to make earthenware objects:

  • Shaping the clay- In the earliest times clay was shaped by the thumb and the fingers on potter�s wheel. However, nowadays a variety of techniques are used to give the clay a shape.
  • Drying, turning and firing- Earlier the wares were left in the open to dry but in modern times machines are used to dry them. Turning is the process of finishing the unfired ware after it has dried. Then the turned products are fired on low heat to prevent vitrification.
  • Decorating processes: Be it an item of utility or decoration earthenware must be properly adorned by any one of the following techniques:
  • Impressing and Stamping � Impressions of finger prints, ropes as well as baskets were the earliest forms of creating impressions on the earthenwares.
  • Incising, Graffito, Carving and Piercing- Incisions can be made on the wet clay with anything ranging from thumb nails to chevrons.
  • Slip decorating- A slip is a mixture of clay and water of a creamy consistency used for decoration. The earliest earthenware colors seem to have been achieved by using slips stained with different metallic oxides. Burnishing and Polishing- This gives the earthenware a neat and glossy look.
  • Decorative glazing- This is done to make the wares less porous so that they can be used to hold or store liquids.
  • Painting- This gives an artistic finish to the ware.
  • Transfer Printing- In the 18th century in England a transfer print made from a copper plate was used for the first time.
  • Marking- This is a mark of identification imprinted on the earthenwares. Earlier it was the names of dynasties and rulers and now it is the name of the manufacturing company that is imprinted on it.
Disadvantages of Earthenware:

Earthenware is plagued by the following problems:

  • It chips easily.
  • It is not translucent.
  • It is less strong.
  • It is less tough.
  • It is more porous than Stoneware.
Advantages of Earthenware:
  • The following 3 points compensate for the above mentioned disadvantages:
  • It is not at all expensive.
  • It is easy to maintain.
  • It is easy to work with.

Today, earthenware occupy the shelves of almost every shop, art gallery, retail shops, malls and they are certainly the pride occupant of every home.

Know about the following earthenware products and the their leading Manufacturers, Exporters and Suppliers :

Following are the potential manufacturers, suppliers and exporters of Crafts Items: