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The Evolution of the Pottery Wheel

Updated: Mar 20, 2021

buonaforma is dedicated to bringing you timeless, modern, and elegant ceramic pieces. In order to achieve this excellence, we incorporate 3D printing technology into our creation process. Through 3D printing we are able to craft intricate digital designs, then bring these concepts to life through traditional clay, glazing, and firing.

Today, buonaforma is following the same technological drive towards advancement that has been embedded in the ceramics landscape throughout history. 3D printing in ceramics is a new concept, however, even the pottery wheel had its humble beginnings as an uncharted territory in ceramic history.

Hand coiling pots is still practiced today, however in ancient times, this technique was the only way to shape a pot from clay. Until the pottery turntable was developed in Mesopotamia in 3,000 BCE, pots had to be manually turned repeatedly by hand as coils were added one at a time. As demand for pottery vessels grew, technology sprung forth to cut the time and labor of the coil pot technique.

The earliest record of a pottery wheel, most similar to the ones we are familiar with today, was recorded in Egyptian hieroglyphics. With this technology, the production of quality pots could be achieved faster and more efficiently. The pottery wheel allowed the clay to be smoothed at higher speeds which created an overall improvement in the pot’s functionality and visual appearance.

The first turntables were turned by manually spinning the table by hand. Eventually, the Egyptians developed wheels with a shaft and bearings which increased the speed a pot could be created. The term “throwing a pot” developed because of the new efficiency of the wheel.

Today potters still use pottery wheels to throw their own pottery creations. From mugs to flower pots, the possibilities are endless. Pottery wheels today are normally powered by electricity and use ball bearings to create a seamless spin. But, ceramics technology does not stop with the wheel. It is constantly evolving and improving, bringing to life new designs that would have been unimaginable in 3,000 BCE.

buonaforma keeps tradition alive by bringing elegant ceramic pieces into the modern world. Paired with 3D printing technology, buonaforma can create one-of-a-kind luxury home decor that would otherwise be impossible by other means.

To learn more about our creation process, stay tuned for next Monday's blog.

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