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Think back to the days of elementary school art class. You probably learned about the basics of art in those early years, from watercolors to sketching to using clay to make basic forms of pottery. As one of the world’s oldest art forms, pottery has been around for centuries and that’s only part of the reason why collectors enjoy adding art pottery to their homes and collections.

What is Art Pottery, Exactly?

By definition, pottery is “the manufacture of clayware (and) earthenware as distinguished from stoneware and brick and tile.” Essentially, it’s both the process of and the end product of making art and functional pieces from clay. Pottery holds the distinction of being one of the world’s oldest inventions, dating back to before the Neolithic period. With the use of a kiln, artists heat clay to remove its moisture to cause it to harden into a permanent shape that they’ve manipulated the clay into. Art pottery is pottery that’s been created mostly for artistic purposes as opposed to functional ones.

Choosing Your Type of Pottery

Three of the most popular types of pottery are earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Earthenware is pottery that is fired at lower temperatures than normal and can come in glazed or unglazed form. Because of the fact that it’s created at lower temperatures, it’s softer than other types of pottery. Stoneware, on the other hand, is created at higher than normal temperatures. For this and other reasons, it serves in functional purposes more effectively in addition to being available in art pieces. Porcelain is like stoneware in some ways (mostly relating to the temperature at which it’s fired), but it uses specific materials when compared to other forms of pottery for sale.

Molding Your Options

When choosing the specific form of art pottery to add to your collection, you should consider a couple of different factors. After deciding upon the type, determine the style that you’d like in your pottery. You can choose amongst a variety of categories, such as regional North American or European pieces, handcrafted pottery, decorative vases, and other types of pottery as well. In addition, you can browse by the color that you prefer for your pottery if you plan to make it part of your décor and already have a pattern or theme in mind.

Firing Up Tasteful Decoration

As one of the world’s oldest art forms, collectors are not starved for choice when it comes to selecting art pottery. You might have your eye on a lobster-shaped German porcelain serving dish, you might be looking for a handmade Japanese tea bowl signed by the artist, or you might prefer a glazed California pottery glazed bowl as a housewarming gift for friends who just moved to the West Coast. Whatever the situation, it’s easy to locate and add the perfect piece of decorative pottery to your collection.

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