When was the last time you came across a product that embodied centuries old history and was also a log of the evolution of mankind itself? Many times we are sure, you might even have some such items at home, just that you never gave it a thought 🙂
Not anymore, today as we introduce our Handmade Vintage Ceramic collection, we will share with you the story of ceramic and why, every time you decide to buy a handmade ceramic product you are taking home a slice of not just ancient but your own history.
As early as 26000 B.C. our forefathers discovered that earth and clay when mixed could be molded into shapes and drying these items in the hot sun made them strong and water resistant, thus the art of pottery was born. It allowed early humans to cook and store water, which in turn allowed larger populations to survive. As they experimented more they realized different kinds of clay reacted differently when heated at different temperatures. High heat and different types of clay made the pottery stronger, shinier or denser, that was the beginning of discovering different kinds of pottery, earthenware (Terracotta), stoneware (Ceramic) and porcelain (Chinaware) and kilns to ensure, the potter had control over the heat used to bake his creations..
Whether it is the Mesopotamian civilization or the Indus valley civilization, the many pieces of pottery excavated in these archaeological sites, give us a deep insight into the lives and times of our ancestors.
However, with industrial revolution came the art of mass production. Machines churned out similar looking pieces of pottery one after the other. The unique and individualistic quirks of handmade pottery was lost and and with it the importance given to an art-form, which had come to define the way we evolved as civilizations.
In very few places will you still find ceramic/stoneware potters using the hand-wheel to create individual pieces. It is dying, an art-form, handed down over generations and mastered across centuries. You may still find earthenware potters around turning their wheels, but stoneware on a wheel is fast becoming a rarity.
Do we really care, where our stoneware comes from, as long as it looks good and serves the purpose? Maybe not.
Just in case you do, it is not very difficult to make out if you own a handmade or a mass produced piece. Each handmade ceramic piece will be unique, with its own individual quirks, would be denser in texture and you will be able to feel the grains of the clay, rather than the symmetrical and polished machine finish.
Next time you go to buy some pieces of ceramic, feel the years of history and workmanship, it had a role to play in your own existence, in more ways than you would ever know…
Check out our Handmade Vintage Ceramic plates for a glimpse of history!
Pic courtesy – http://nsms6thgradesocialstudies.weebly.com/prehistory.html
Post By Merlin Francis