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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
The history of ceramics
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By Diane Hunt
March 18, 2013 12:01 a.m.

Have you ever wondered how ceramics began?  I did but it took this blog for me to do any research.  So I will share what I have learned with you all.  There is so much that I will start with the very beginning and as weeks go by bring you up to current day practices.

It turns out ceramics is a very ancient industry. Once people discovered that clay could be dug up and formed into objects by mixing with water and then firing, the ceramic industry was born. As early as 24,000 BC, animal and human figurines were made from animal fat, bone mixed with bone ash and a fine claylike material, and then fired in kilns at temperatures between 500-800°C in domed and horseshoe shaped kilns partially dug into the ground.  I sure am glad I can just put mine in an electric kiln!  At around 9000 or 10,000 BC the first use of functional pottery for storing water and food was invented. Clay bricks were also made around the same time.

Glass was believed to be discovered in Egypt somewhere around 8000 BC, when overheating of kilns produced a colored glaze on the pottery. While firing pottery, the presence of calcium oxide containing sand combined with soda and the overheating of the pottery kiln may possibly have resulted in a colored glaze on the ceramic piece.  It was not until approximately 1500 BC that glass was produced and fashioned into separate items.  At some point I will go into firing glass with you.  Glass is fairly easy to work with but really expensive.   Thank you for taking time to read my blogs, until next week.

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