In order to determine the etymological origin of the word that concerns us now, it is necessary that we go back in time. And that is that it emanates from Arabic, and more specifically still from the words al-fahhar that can be translated as “the ceramic”.
The pottery is the name of the art consisting of the elaboration of earthenware vessels. The stores where the vessels are sold and the workshop in which they are manufactured are also named.
The concept of pottery is used to refer to those pieces made without enamel or with varnish applied in a single firing. For this reason, the potter differs from the ceramist, since the latter adds enamels and uses various techniques in his pieces, with more than one firing.
Historians claim that pottery was born about 12,000 years ago in Japan, with the development of Jomon pottery. The oldest recorded pottery in Latin America is made up of objects from Kotosh-Hauyrajirca, which were found in Peru and dated to 1,850 BC.
So important, not only for decorative pleasure but also for utility to carry out various tasks of daily life, has been pottery throughout history that today, in addition to the objects mentioned, many elements of this type belonging to ancient times.
Thus, for example, today we have the privilege of being able to admire from Egyptian pieces dated in the year 3,700 BC to others belonging to the cultures that populated the Iberian Peninsula during the Bronze Age, passing through Greek, Iberian and Roman ceramics.
Precisely these and many others have become the best works of art and jewelry preserved in museums around the world. Specifically, some of the most significant are in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, the National Museum of Tokyo, the National Museum of Ancient Art of Portugal or the National Archaeological Museum of Spain, which is located in Madrid.
All this without forgetting either that, for example, then there are other cultural centers of this type that are specialized in pottery. This would be the case of the Agost Pottery Museum, in the Valencian community, which is located in an old clay factory from the 19th century and which allows to know in depth the characteristics of this art in that area.
The manufacturing process of the ceramic pieces begins with the kneading of the clay, so that the different particles and moisture are distributed evenly and to avoid the formation of air bubbles.
The next step is manual molding or with the help of various tools. In this part of the process, water is added, so that the clay maintains its plasticity and no cracks appear.
Then the piece is left in the open air to dry, in a phase known as leather. When the piece is completely dry, it acquires greater hardness and a lighter color. The potter can then sand the piece to make it more neat.
Finally, the pottery piece is taken to the oven, where it acquires greater resistance and loses its chemical humidity.