Q&A: What are the most common pottery myths?
“If you know something, you don’t have to believe.”
− Karl Jung
A shortly worded question but a long answer as misinformation spreads when ignorance is present.
In many instances potter’s think they have a technical problem but the underlying cause of many issues is false information… a myth. The making of ceramic objects is at best part science and part intuitive art. In the past, the basic science of pottery production was somewhat hit or miss. Without an extensive understanding of the underlying theories concerning ceramic materials the potter was often left with myths and inaccurate information on forming techniques, glaze formulas and firing processes. Often, the uncertainty of results called for reassuring myths and dogma. Have you ever seen a “kiln god” a figure resting on the top of a kiln to insure good firings? If you even somewhat considered this superstition a necessary part of firing the kiln, you don’t know how to fire the kiln. The potency of any myth depends on its ability to play on the human condition or fear, uncertainty and lack of knowledge, all of which can be present in the making of pottery.