Clay has been the most basic material which is easily available in every corner of the country. Clay has served various purposes helping a human beings in all kinds possible. The terracotta objects were the first artefacts to be found during the archaeological excavations. The method of making clay objects differ from one another although they follow almost similar steps.
The various methods followed in making a clay product are listed below:
1) Preparation of Clay:
The raw clay is being brought and purchased from the wholesale markets found locally. This is the initial stage where the clay is refined and prepared by removing stones, lumps and other impurities of the clay. This process is done manually by the artisans to ensure the quality of the clay used in creating the objects. After the filtration of the clay, the mixture of clay is prepared to create a dough. The raw clay is mixed with the required amount of water and then the clay is made wet. Then the half-prepared dough is passed into the clay mixing machine for better mixing of the clay infinite proportion to create the final dough.
2) Sculpting or Carving:
The sculpting or carving process of the clay begins when the final dough is prepared. A required amount of dough is placed on centre of the turning wheel and the wheel is rotated sometimes by hand or sometimes by electric power. Slowly the moulding of the base structure is shaped and simultaneously the area is been checked and smoothened. With the help of two hands, the formation of the dough is changed into an object. The thumb fingers play a very important role in the sculpting of the object into a required shape. Even few artisans take the help of a Scalpel to smoothen out the wet clay rotating on the potter’s wheel. The same process is repeated until the artisan gets the desired shape beautifully craved in wet clay and then with the scalpel one removes the object from the turning wheel. Then the object is allowed to dry under the sun for two to three days and a few products are covered with a cloth to avoid excess drying.
3) Firing the Clay objects:
The baking or firing of the clay objects is initiated once the objects get dried up under the sun. The firing process is traditionally followed in an open or closed furnace as per the requirement of the object. The temperature of the kiln is kept at a required stable given temperature i.e. 900 degrees Celsius to 1200 degrees Celsius. The objects when baked turn into two different colours one is red other is the black giving the clay a lustrous shine. Each colour is obtained by performing the different process of baking the objects. The red colour is obtained in the clay objects when the smoke comes out from the vent of the kiln, whereas the black colour is obtained when the smoke is not allowed to pass out by covering the vents. The baking process is important because it helps to strengthen the clay in products. The temperature of the kiln is continuously heated to bake the products in an equal consistency. After the baking of the products, they are packed one by one ensuring their shape and sent to the customers or to the markets.