Tracing History Of Ceramics From Pottery To Superconductors

Posted by on Nov 20, 2014 in Knowledge | Comments Off on Tracing History Of Ceramics From Pottery To Superconductors

Tracing History Of Ceramics From Pottery To Superconductors

Occasionally we get some unusual requests from our clients. We recently got an order from one of our clients to make a ceramic model of a golf club. The client had wanted to gift the piece to his golf club friend. I’d become acquainted with the client, while I was playing at the golf club in our neighborhood.

There have been many improvements in golf as a sport. There are several new devices like, the range finder, to help you out with the game. The client had asked about how we made ceramic models and was very much interested in knowing on how it all started. Since it is a subject I love to speak about, I gave him a short account on the development of ceramics.

Ever since man found that clay can be used to make objects by mixing it with water and firing it, the ceramics started to play a vital role in human evolution. Ceramic is one of the ancient industries  in the world and its use is dated back to 24,000 BC, when it was used to create animal as well as human figurines. Originally man used clay and certain other materials to make the objects and fired them in kilns, which were dug in the ground partially. There are ceramic pieces depicting humans hunting for food.

Nearly 10,000 years after ceramics came into existence, tiles were created and vessels for storing water and food were made from them. Clay bricks were also used around that time. Glass was invented around 8000 B.C in Egypt. It is believed that the overheating of kilns had led to the formation of glazed layer on pottery. But this evolved into a more refined and quality item only in 1500 B.C.

And later on during Middle Age, the metal industry at its fledgling stage started using synthetic materials for melting the metal at high temperatures. This led to an industrial revolution in 16th century when refractories were used to melt glass and metal for use in industries and in the production of cement, coke, ceramics and chemicals.

In the middle of 1800’s another major shift in the development of ceramics occurred, when they were used for insulation of electrical wires. And the inventions that came on later like automobiles, televisions, radios and the present day computers also used ceramic and glass, making the material an important component. From the glass windows and alumina spark plugs in automobiles to the particulate filters in diesel engines and the high temperature superconductors used in 1980s, the ceramics have certainly evolved into a very significant and indispensable material.

The client was impressed with the history of ceramics and also by the model our artists had created. He was all praises for the work and invited me over for a game soon. He’s a professional golf player and as I’m still an amateur at the sport, playing with him would be useful, as I’d get some advice on the right shots and on using the new rangefinder devices I mentioned earlier. I’m looking forward to playing with him soon.