Driven by the belief that the arts and heritage can contribute to intercommunity dialogue, the Ceramic Art Workshop, an eight-week programmatic partnership with the Gallery of the Ministry of Culture – Qafa, was tailored to the needs, abilities and interests of the different communities and audiences that both institutions serve.
The video tutorials to follow have been produced during the course of the Ceramic Art Workshop, which was held from September 27 to November 15, 2021.
Workshop participants Ardita Krasniqi and Granita Grezda, and workshop mentor Lirije Buliqi, present three different processes of ceramic-making.
VIDEO TUTORIAL #1: HOW TO WORK WITH POTTERY WHEEL?
The pottery wheel, also known as throwing, demands time to learn the skill of wheel-throwing, but once mastered it’s a much more efficient method of vase-making.
Depending on the technique and approach, pottery wheels can be powered manually or by electricity, as demonstrated in the video.
The pottery wheel can be used to make different ceramic objects such as mugs, bowls, plates, vases, jars, teapots, containers and any kind of round items.
VIDEO TUTORIAL#2: HOW TO CREATE HANDBUILT POTTERY?
Rolling out a slab of clay is the most essential process that holds so much potential in shaping and making pottery. Rolled to a uniform thickness, the slab can take myriad shapes, sizes and designs.
While shaping and modeling clay, different types of tools can be put to use. For example, for a more intricate structure and pattern use what is in your immediate surroundings, like leaves, rice, wire, foil, rocks.
Before firing, the molded clay needs one up to two weeks to dry. Usually, clay is fired twice. The first firing or bisque fire takes around 8-10 hours; and the second, glaze firing takes around 8-12 hours.
Depending on the type of glaze and scale of your project, kilns for firing clay are purchased accordingly.
VIDEO TUTORIAL #3: HOW TO GLAZE A VASE?
Applying glaze to a ceramic vase is not always a must. Different clay colors can stand in for elaborate glazings. However, glazes can form a variety of surface finishes, including degrees of glossy or matte finish and color. The most practical purpose of glazing ceramics is to make them food-safe and waterproof.
When used only for decoration, ceramic objects can be glazed with colors that require low firing temperature or without firing them in the kiln, such is the case with colors used in the video.
Lastly, all the materials and tools used in the three videos, including the kiln and pottery wheel, have been locally sourced, and can be found in arts and craft shops of Prishtina.
The Oral History Initiative project Ceramic Art Workshop is part of the financial grant “Cultural Heritage as a Driver for Intercommunity Dialogue and Social Cohesion” project implemented by UNDP Kosovo and funded by the European Union’s Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).