by emilia brown / hb.amazines.com
Ceramics in Greek means Pottery, which is the use of clay and other minerals to make pots. But today ceramics can be defined as inorganic materials made from minerals in the earth. In ancient history decorative ceramics was a great part of many cultures including the Greeks, Arabs, Mayans, Chinese and places around the Mediterranean. Ceramics are widely used in the industrial world as well because of its heat resistant properties and also other properties. Compared to many other metals, ceramics are much lighter and are therefore used for many industrial purposes.
Hand Painted ceramics were used for a lot of things in the ancient times as well but were mainly used for decorative purposes. The ancient Chinese Emperors used to give ceramics as gifts to other kings for diplomatic purposes. Pottery was always a great part of the ancient culture and was used to make things like utensils, knives, storage jars and many other household items. But glazed pottery only came into existence much later, around the time of the ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
In the Ancient Mediterranean, making decorative hand painted ceramics was also a widely practiced activity by many of the people. Ancient Egyptian pottery dates back to 3000BC and ceramics were produced on a wide scale, where they used moulds to produce pots and later on, used the wheel.
Tin-glazed pottery came out much later and once this was spread throughout many different civilizations it was used a lot because the people found it to be a lot more durable than normal pottery. The process of glazing is done by heating the clay to about 2000 degrees and then dipping it in a glaze made from tin, calcium and other minerals. This made the pots resistant to high temperatures and helped making the decorating part of the ceramic a lot easier.
Since every ceramic is handmade and hand painted it takes a lot of effort to make one and it requires a lot of skill as well. The process involves a lot of techniques since some ceramics are geometrically and figuratively painted and every culture had different styles of painting the ceramics.
Nowadays ceramics are widely used for decorating a place and can be used as the center piece of a room. The hand painted ceramics, which is still very widely practiced in parts of the world, are of great value and must be well kept. Thanks to the glazing of these ceramics, they do not have any problem of corrosion and are therefore extremely long lasting if kept well.
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