Pottery for Everyday Use

When we think of pottery, images of beautiful and delicate pieces often come to mind. We picture intricately patterned vases displayed in museums or delicate teacups used for special occasions. However, pottery is not just for show. In fact, it has been used for practical purposes for centuries, from storing food to holding water. In this chapter, we will explore the everyday uses of pottery, particularly in the form of mugs, plates, and bowls.


We all have our favorite mug, the one we reach for every morning to hold our coffee or tea. But have you ever considered the history behind this simple yet essential vessel? The earliest mugs were made from clay and were used by the ancient Greeks and Romans to drink wine and other beverages. As pottery spread throughout the world, the use of mugs also evolved. In Asia, mugs were used for drinking tea, while in Europe, they were used for beer and other spirits.

Today, mugs come in all shapes and sizes, with various designs and patterns. They can be handcrafted and one-of-a-kind or mass-produced in factories. Yet, despite their common use, there is something special about a handmade pottery mug. Its imperfect shape and unique glaze give it character and make it a joy to hold and use every day.


While mugs may have a long and rich tradition, plates have a more humble beginning. In ancient times, people ate from leaves, shells, and even their hands. It wasn’t until the development of pottery that a more practical and hygienic solution was found. The earliest plates were simple round pieces of clay, but as pottery techniques advanced, plates became more elaborate, with decorative patterns and intricate shapes.

Today, plates are a staple in every kitchen, used for serving meals and displaying food. But they can also be an expression of one’s personality and style. A plate can be a blank canvas for a potter to create a work of art or a beautiful addition to any table setting. From the classic white dinner plate to the vibrant and colorful hand-painted pieces, pottery plates add a touch of elegance and sophistication to any meal.


Bowls have been used for centuries as vessels to store and serve food. They come in various shapes and sizes, from small rice bowls to large mixing bowls. In many cultures, bowls are also used in rituals and ceremonies, symbolizing unity and community. In pottery, bowls are a popular and versatile form, with endless possibilities for shape, size, and design.

One of the fascinating aspects of pottery bowls is the various techniques used to create them. From handbuilding to wheel throwing, each method produces a unique bowl, making it an excellent example of the potter’s skill and craftsmanship. And while bowls may seem like a simple and everyday object, their importance should not be underestimated. They hold nourishment and bring people together, making them an integral part of our daily lives.

Practical Art

Pottery may have started as a practical solution to everyday needs, but it has evolved into so much more. The beauty and craftsmanship of pottery make it a form of art, and yet it remains accessible and functional for everyday use. Whether we are aware of it or not, pottery has become an essential and joyful part of our lives.

From the simplicity of a handmade mug to the elegance of a hand-painted plate, pottery adds a touch of sophistication to our daily routines. It is a reminder that even the most mundane tasks can be elevated with a touch of artistry and creativity. So the next time you reach for your favorite mug or grab a plate for a meal, take a moment to appreciate the beauty and history behind this ancient craft. Pottery for everyday use is more than just practical; it is an expression of art in our daily lives.

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