It is the art of making pots, jug, vase, jar with or without glazing after shaping the fat clay with hands or pottery wheel and pouring it into the various sized moulds and then firing in the oven. The glazed tiles made of white soil are not included into the pottery art. That is called the art of tile making. According to the old technique, the pottery clay had been prepared and shaped by filtering the fat clay taken from the stream beds or clay lumps and picking the pebbles, then grinding it with a stone or wooden mallet. The clay had been just added a bit of water, the filtered fat clay had been put into moulds and compressed or it had been carved in the middle and shaped into various forms.
According to the new techniques, the clay iswet with much water, condensed and filtered. This filtered watery clay is dried until it reaches a certain consistency and then shaped by hands. Recently, it is poured into the slime moulds.
If the jugs are not processed with glassy glaze, it can leak its water. It is called the sweating jugs. When this small amount of water evaporates, the water within jug cools down.
Firing: As to the old techniques, the pottery had been dried under the sun. Then the ovens used. In 18th century, the pottery oven was manufactured and in 19th century the tunnel type ovens were started to be used. The wheel carrying the pottery passes through the oven to fire them and waits in the cooling area and then the fired pottery is taken out. The pottery is fired in 2 ovens as one hardening the clay and the other fixing the glaze. In the first oven, the clay slowly loses its water. The temperature is kept low to prevent cracks in the pottery. When the temperature comes up to 600 oC, the pottery becomes red and the clay completely dehydrates. If the pottery takes air during the firing, the carbon substances precipitate. If it does not take the air, the pottery is thickened and darkened.
Glazing: The glaze is mixed with the clay, lime, flint stone, borax and other materials to be laid on the pottery. The glaze is used to decorate and to provide impermeability. It does not melt with water. When the diluted glaze is laid on a fired pottery, it dries and forms a layer. If it is fired again, the substances melt and it becomes a thin glassy layer.
The color: Because the clay is a mixture of various materials, it may take different colors after firing. The first pottery decorations were like this. Then, the glaze was used. The paint is put into the glaze or it is plastered on and under the glaze.
Decoration: In old times, the decorations had been made on the pottery by hand or carving or laying different color clays on top. Then, it changed into laying various colors and patterns on or under the glaze. The history of the pottery: The excavations show that it goes back to 5th-4th century BC. The pottery art had taken place in all civilizations with peculiarities and characteristics.
It is known that the pottery art had been alive in the civilizations in Egypt in 5th century BC and in the ones in Iran and Palestine in 4th century BC. It had been older in the Anatolian civilizations as in 6th century BC. Dark colored ceramics were found in the centers like Mersin, Catalhöyük and Kızılkaya. Cream colored lined and waxed ceramics were found in Hacılar. Dark colored, patterned handmade type of pottery from 2900-2600 BC was found in the settlements in Truva, Yortan, Polatlı, Kusura, Beycesultan and South Anatolia. In 2600-2300 BC the pottery wheel had been started to be used; red lined and waxed ceramics as well as black pots and colored ceramics with red geometric patterns on white or brown on red are seen. In 2300-1900 BC, the pottery described just above had been accompanied by the potteries with dark striped pattern on red or reddish line and by some with single color and line as well as with face descriptions. In 1900-1600 BC, during Hittites, geometrical patterns as well as animal figures are seen. The pottery goes back to 3000 BC in Middle Asia and Turks. The pots from Gokturks are mostly the jugs with narrow brim and pots with wide brim. In the region in where the Karluks had lived, the human and animal figures as well as the animal figures from CuValley are seen. This kind of decoration is changed into stylized bird and deer figures by pervasion of Islam. In Karakhanids, the human and animal figures had been replaced with the stylized plant patterns. After the acceptance of Islam, Turks had mostly worked on tile and porcelain making and created unique pieces of art in these fields. Anatolian Seljukians (13th-11th centuries BC) had used raw pots similar to ceramics used by Byzantines for their daily use. The pots had beenglazed with green, yellow and brown on red. The pieces of this type of pottery were found in the palaces of Kubâdâbâtand Konya. A brimmed jug displayed in Ankara Ethnography Museum is decorated with human, flower figures and geometrical patterns. During Ottomans, the pottery like jars, pots, jugs had been made with glazed and unglazed fired clay. The Canakkale pottery is very old and many glazed ceramics in green, yellow and dark brown are well-known. There also is pottery production in Adapazarı, Ayaş,Avanos, Diyarbakır,Eskişehir, Gönen, Göksu in AnadoluCastle in Istanbul, Inegöl, Kütahya, Konya, Menemen, M.KemalPaşa and many other places in Turkey. Today, this art is still kept alive in these regions.