The process of making earthenware that is quite heavy felt by craftsmen is the enumeration of earthenware raw materials. However, the process of collecting materials that were previously carried out manually has been completed with a lubricating machine.
- Clay picking. Clay soils are taken by digging directly into the soil containing a lot of good clay. Good clay soils are red-brown or brownish-white. The excavated clay is then collected somewhere for further processing.
- Clay preparation. The collected clay is poured with water until it is evenly wet and then allowed to stand for one to two days. After that, then the clay is ground to make it more adhesive and clayey. There are two ways of grinding, namely manually and mechanically. Manual grinding is carried out by trampling the clay until it becomes tenacious and smooth. While the mechanical scatter using a milling machine. The best results will be produced using a manual grinding process.
- The process of formation. After passing through the grinding process, then the clay is ready to be formed as desired. Various shapes and designs are produced from clay. How much clay and how long it will take depends on how much earthenware will be produced, its shape and design. The potter will use both hands to form the clay and both legs to rotate the turning device (furniture). The similarity of motion and concentration is indispensable to be able to do so. The tools used are turning tools (furniture), batting tools, cobblestones, small fabrics. Water is also indispensable to form earthenware well.
- After the final form has been formed, it is continued by drying. Before drying in the sun, the pottery that has been slightly hardened is smoothed with water and a small cloth and then bolted with flint. After that, it is only dried in the sun until it is completely dry. The length of drying time is adjusted to the weather and the heat of the sun.
- After the earthenware becomes hard and completely dry, then a lot of pottery is collected in a place or kiln. The pottery was then burned for several hours until it was completely hard. This process is carried out so that the earthenware is really hard and does not break easily. The fuel used for the combustion process is dry straw, dried coconut leaves or firewood.
- In the process of refinement, the finished earthenware can be painted with special paint or glazed, so that it looks beautiful and attractive so that it is of high selling value.
Meanwhile, the next pottery making process that requires attention is the combustion process. This process is enough to complete a long time of about 1 day (12 hours) of continuous combustion. In this burning process, the craftsmen usually use firewood or straw. When converted, using such fuel, it requires a considerable amount of firewood and costs.
Techniques in the Earthenware Making Process
The basic material used to make earthenware is clay. Before making earthenware, the clay is pre-processed in several stages. In addition, there is also another additional material, which is kaolin. The ready clay is then formed by direct hand or using a rotary device.
The shape of the earthenware to be made is adjusted to the function of the object when it is used. There are earthenware used for cooking utensils such as stoneware and belanga, some are used to store water or rice such as crocks, some are used to store drinking water such as jugs, and some are used for decorations such as jars and vases of flowers.
In making objects made of clay, certain techniques are needed so that the process is easy and effective. The techniques usually used by potters or ceramics makers include plate techniques, plate techniques, piline techniques, rotary techniques, press printing techniques, and pouring techniques.
The slabing technique is a technique used to make pottery objects in the form of cubis with a flat surface. This technique begins with the manufacture of clay slabs using rolling wood rollers.
Once it becomes a slab of the same thickness, you can cut it with a knife or wire according to the size you want. Next, you can make it into a cube or square shape. Then, the final stage is decorated by sowing at a time when the soil is half dry.
2. Teknik Plat (Pinching)
The plate technique (pinching) is a technique of making ceramics by sticking clay directly by hand. The purpose of using this technique is to make the clay denser and not easy to peel off so that the result will last a long time. The plate process can be carried out in the following way.
- Take a clod of plastic clay.
- The clay is tenaciously kneaded and twisted with your thumb while being shaped according to the shape of the object you want.
- Puree using a brush or a fine cloth.
3. Technical Battery (Coiling)
The coiling technique is a way of forming clay with the shape of a clay base that is twisted or shaped like a rope. The way to perform this technique is a lump of clay formed pilinan with both palms. The size of each election is adjusted to the size you want. The length of the pilinan is also adjusted to the needs. Then, you arrange the clay pilinan in a circle, so that it becomes the shape you want. Don’t forget each arrangement is pressed and add water to stick.
4. Throwing Technique
To make earthenware with the throwing technique, you need an auxiliary tool in the form of a runner’s hole or an electric rotary device. The way to do this technique is to take a lump of plastic and lumat clay. After that, put the clay on the turntable right in the middle. Then, press the clay with both hands while rotating. The shape of the clay corresponds to the desired shape. The rotary technique generally produces spherical or cylindrical objects.
5. Press Printing Technique
The press printing technique is carried out by pressing clay whose shape is adapted to the mold. This technique is carried out in order to get results with a fast time.
6. Cast or Pour Technique
The cast or pour technique is used to make earthenware using a reference printing tool. The clay used for this technique is liquid clay. These molds are usually made of casts. The cast material is used because the cast can absorb water faster so that the clay dries quickly.
Well, that’s a brief explanation of the origins, functions, and ways of making earthenware. Grameds can also visit gramedia’s book collection in www.gramedia.com to get references about other Indonesian cultures, namely regional traditional weapons. Here are recommendations for Gramedia books that you can read to learn them in full. Happy reading.