TEmbikar : How to Make, and The Difference with Earthenware

Pottery – You must be familiar with the existence of pottery? Or it’s possible that you’ve seen what pottery looks like but don’t know if it’s so named. It is basically a traditional craft created from clay. Although it is referred to as traditional or originated from ancient times, but until now its existence still exists, especially since the process of making it also becomes a livelihood for the community.

The existence of this pottery does not only come from the Indonesian region, you know, but from many countries as well, some of which are China and Malaysia. For this Malaysian country, it is usually almost the same as what exists in our country, starting in terms of ornamental motifs, shapes, to philosophies because they are both sourced from Malay culture. Then, what the **** is pottery? What is its form in China and Malaysia along with its philosophy? Is it true that pottery can be used as a source of historical learning? What is the difference between pottery and earthenware that many people have not been able to distinguish between the two?

Definition of Pottery

According to the KBBI (Big Dictionary of Indonesian), pottery is an item of burnt clay and coated with mauss or porcelain. For Javanese people, it is common to refer to this as “pottery”, when in fact pottery and pottery have differences even though they are almost the same shape.

Therefore, pottery can be called a product resulting from a combination of quartz sand, mineral stone, and pure clay that is shaped in such a way and then heated to the ambient temperature range 1, 100 to 1, 250 degrees Celsius. Usually, pottery will be coated with porcelain to make it look smoother and more pleasing to the eye. Not infrequently, pottery will also be added with carvings that have their own philosophy.

Basically, this traditional craft is a form of human work that has aesthetic and functional value, so that it becomes part of human cultural activities that have existed since ancient times to the present. According to Koentjaraningrat (1990), it is revealed that pottery is included in the traditional technology of physical culture in the form of containers.

 The Origin of Pottery

The existence of this traditional craft is thought to have existed since prehistoric times, precisely after humans were able to live sedentaryly (non-nomadic) and began to grow crops. Many archaeological sites in Indonesia have discovered pottery at that time and most of its functions were as household utensils, religious ceremonial purposes, to burial ceremonies for corpses. Compared to other human cultural products, objects such as pottery which are made of clay and undergo a burning process, make it an artifact that can be lasts a long time, both indoors and buried in the ground.

At that time, this traditional craft was processed by hand, so the dough was still rough and full of fingerprints of the maker, and the shape was often asymmetrical. Then, the times developed, the tools of making it also developed, namely no longer made by hand but by staring at stones and spinning wheels. The development of this traditional craft also lies not only in the tools of its manufacture, but also in the shapes, motifs, and colors used.

In Indonesia, this traditional craft is allegedly carried through the Sa Huynh culture, an ancient culture originating from South Vietnam or Champa, which is indeed famous for the art of pottery and pottery his old-fashionedness.

Basic Techniques of Pottery Making

Pottery making techniques are not easy, you know, Grameds! Must use at least 4 basic techniques, namely:

  • Lining Technique, which is the manufacture of pottery with a special mold and then damaged or crushed.
  • Coiling Technique, which is to arrange lumps of clay (clay) that have been damaged earlier by stacking them.
  • Modelling Technique, which is to form one lump of clay in a large size.
  • Wheel-Technique, which is to make a lump of clay with a tool that is rotated with wheels.

How to Make Pottery

Actually, the way these traditional crafts are made in one area with another is almost the same. The striking difference lies in the additional shapes, shades, motifs, and colors used. From the basic techniques of making pottery that have been described earlier, it will be explained in more detail, namely as follows:

1. Clay Retrieval

The first step in making pottery is to dig up the clay directly especially those that are red brown or brownish-white. The excavated clay is then collected somewhere.

2. Clay Preparation

The second step is to water the clay soil with water until it is evenly wet, then let it stand for 1-2 days. After that, the clay can be ground so that the soil structure becomes more adhesive. In grinding this clay, there are two ways, namely manually and mechanically.

Manual grinding can be done by trampling clay using the legs until the structure becomes smoother and more tenacious. While mechanical grinding can be done using a milling machine. However, if you want to get good results and quality, it is better to use the manual grinding method only.

3. Formation Process

After the clay has finished grinding, then comes the process of formation that can be adjusted to the wishes. Usually, these traditional craftsmen who are already experts have a certain shape and design. The more complicated the shape and design, the longer the time used to form it will also be long.

The craftsmen will use tools in the form of a turning device (furniture), the way to use which is to rotate both hands to form clay according to the design, while both his legs turned the wheel on the device. Although it looks easy, it turns out that how to make pottery really requires careful concentration, you know, especially in equalizing the movements of the hands and feet.

The supporting tools in making this traditional craft are not only furniture, but also there are bats, cobblestones, small cloths, and water in the container.

4. Drying Process

After the pottery is finished forming according to the design, then the next step is to smooth the pottery with water and a small cloth first, especially on the slightly hardened part. Then, then it is dried in the sun until it is completely dry. The length of drying time depends on weather conditions and solar heat.

5. Combustion Process

The next step is to burn the pottery on the flames in the kiln, for several hours until the pottery really becomes hard. This is so that pottery is not easily broken and of good quality. Usually, potters will use dry straw, dried coconut leaves, and firewood in the process of burning pottery.

6. Pottery Refinement

The last step is to perfect the pottery according to the existing design, namely by giving it a special paint or glaze so that the result is more beautiful and attractive. The more unique the motif on the pottery, the higher the selling price will be.

Differences between Pottery and Earthenware

Many people feel that pottery and earthenware are the same two objects, although in fact at first glance they do seem to be the same. However, it turns out that when viewed from a certain point of view, pottery and earthenware have some differences, you know…

No. Pottery Pottery
1. The heating process is in the range of 1,100-1,250 degrees Celsius. The heating process is in the range of 800-1,000 degrees Celsius.
2. The manufacturing process uses a mixture of clay with quartz sand, mineral stones and water. The manufacturing process uses a mixture of clay with water and sand in a certain ratio.
3. It prioritizes aesthetic functions, namely as trinkets and decorations. It prioritizes the function of use, namely as a tool for daily needs.
4. Examples include: decorative plates, decorative cups, decorative flower vases, urns, and others. Examples are: cobek, furnace, cauldron, barrel, and others.
5. The surface is smoother because it is glazed. The surface is rougher because it is not glazed, just a special paint to make it more attractive.




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