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No 659 Steinbach Nutcracker The Potter

The Potter 

You Tapfer (potter) my mother used to say when I occasionally had done something wrong, and anyone who has watched a potter knows that a nice article which he has just finished can easily become a distorted and funny- looking thing through an act of carelessness if the clay is still soft. Then you may find such lousy articles in the sale as second- rate goods. Pottery is an ancient craft and pieces have been found that are 10,000 years old. It was the ancient Egyptians who invented the potter’s wheel about 5,000 years ago, first hand-operated, then by the Italian foot propulsion which is still used today. The potter’s wheel is one of man’s simple, but ingenious inventions. Of course nowadays we have electro-propulsion. In addition, mass-produced goods are now shaped by casting, centrifuging and compressing. All earthen ware goods are burnt at around 1,000°C and at 1,200°C stoneware goods are produced. A significant branch of the craft is the application of beautiful, often indigenous painted designs onto pottery both under and over the specially burnt enamel. Every year at the Frankfurt fair you can marvel at the many beautiful novelties of the pottery trade in the craft hall.


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