Molding soil into clay
What is Terracotta?
Clay work is one of man's first creations, and the advent of this craft represents an essential stage in the development of our species. It is almost as if our predecessors were looking for ways to express themselves and physically took the ground into their own hands to fashion shapes and forms that were both ornamental and practical.
History of Terracotta
The skill of working with terracotta, which dates back thousands of years and is practiced all over the world, is one of the most popular and widely practiced forms of handicraft. Even earlier than the time of the Indus Valley Civilization, India has a long and illustrious history of making terracotta pottery, which dates back to prehistoric times and has its origins in those times.
Terracotta means "baked earth," which is where the phrase originates. In actuality, it refers to an unglazed ceramic substance based on clay, from which expert potters fashion things in the earthy brownish-orange color inherent to the material.
How are Terracotta materials made?
Terracotta creation is a straightforward yet labor-intensive process despite its apparent simplicity. The standard clay found on the bottoms of water, such as rivers, lakes, and ponds, is used as the primary raw material in this craft. After the clay or dough has been prepared, the potter will either use a potter's wheel or work by hand to mold the clay into the desired object. After that, the substance is exposed to the sun to dry up and become more durable. Afterward, the items are baked in an earthen oven or put through the kiln firing process—the color of the substance changes to a saffron-orange as it is cooked. Items made of finished terracotta are frequently polished or glazed to give them a shiny appearance. Additionally, they may be painted in vibrant colors to increase their allure.
Almost every region in India is home to its one-of-a-kind pottery style, distinguishable from the others by its colors, styles, designs, and finishes. For example, Kangra is famous for its black pottery, which is made in a manner that is similar to Harappan pottery.
Pokhran, located in Rajasthan, is known for its pottery that features stylized forms and etched artistic patterns. One can find "thin" earthenware with motifs etched in the city of Kanpur. Surah is a narrow-necked water container that is traditionally made by potters in the cities of Meerut and Jhajjar. These are formed by turning and molding the same piece of material halfway through the process and then having a variety of patterns and designs carved into them. Kutch is well-known for its pottery designed for specific occasions and images of horses and elephants. In addition, Nizamabad, located in Uttar Pradesh, is famous for producing black pottery with silver patterns woven into it.
Utilization of goods made of terracotta
Terracotta and other comparable clay items are not used nearly as frequently in modern times. Clay items, in the shape of food serving vessels, have been coming back in recent years, thanks to the efforts of a select number of eateries and food establishments with a classic theme. These establishments aim to provide a refined and understated appearance. Some individuals put their utensils to use in the garden in addition to the kitchen-related tasks they perform with them.
Advantages to utilizing products made with terracotta clay
Even in more remote locations, you'll find that most women prefer to store their cooking essentials in earthenware or clay pots. The following are reasons that pave the way for their application, along with an explanation of each one in greater detail:
- A low and steady boil
Clay-based cookware makes for more manageable low and slow cooking. After completing the cooking phase, there must not be any uncooked food components remaining in the dish that shall prepare using the slow cooking method. We know that clay pots are porous by nature, which leads to a synchronized mixing of heat and moisture. It allows us to make sure that this happens. It ensures that the various components of the cuisine are adequately cooked and imparts an additional flavor to the finished product.
- Nutritious values
Because the arrangement of earthenware is so precise, it enables the steam and vapor to condense in a single location. Because of this, the cooking process shall simplify because one does not require additional oil. As a result, preparing food in an earthen pot results in increased nutrition.
- Harmony of the food's pH level
It is common knowledge that acidity and alkalinity both result in specific reactions. Clay utensils have alkaline capabilities because of the abundance of clay in them. These alkaline materials can react with the acids present in the food to neutralize the pH balance, resulting in food that is not only delicious but also nutritious.
- Less oil requirement
Clay cooking utensils have a naturally occurring non-stick quality, allowing for much-reduced amounts of oil and salt to may use in food preparation compared to other types of cutlery.
- The porous structure of the soil
Because of their porous structure, clay pots can greatly help gardeners who may experience their craft. It is because water evaporates through these pores, and if there is excessive watering, it eventually protects the plants.
- As pots
Cacti are considered dry plants, and they no need irrigation. Clay pots have a higher rate of evaporation than other containers. Thus, dry plants grown in them are never in danger of losing their survival ability.
Clay containers contribute to the preservation of environmentally friendly environments. Because these pots are so fragile, you can reuse them as a base for new banks by placing them on top of the broken ones.
Terracotta and its derivatives are biodegradable and are the single most valuable benefit offered by these materials. When they are kept idle, they decay on their own so that they can no longer cause any harm. Although the utilization of such products could be laborious, one must not discount the numerous benefits that are made available by using such products.