A History of Pottery

Pottery is said to be the oldest of all human handicrafts. What makes pottery so intriguing is its versatility – it can be used to create both functional and decorative objects. Whether you're a beginner, an experienced potter, or just an avid fan, there's always something new to learn. So get ready to explore the fascinating world of pottery!


With archaeological evidence, it seems that the way pottery was made in prehistoric times is most likely using woven baskets. These baskets were lined with river clay and were used to transport water. After the water was poured out of the container, the layer of clay dried. The loss of moisture caused the shape to shrink and separate from the sides of the basket. When the clay, now shaped like a pot, was removed and dried in the sun on hot sand, it retained the basket pattern. They then would harden the molded pottery in hot ashes and make sturdy containers to transport and store food.


Dating back to sometime between 6,000 and 4,000 BC, the first potter's wheel came to be in Mesopotamia. This allowed a revolution in the way items were created out of clay. Speeding up the long process of hand molding clay, ancient people could now experiment with new ways to create from this amazing natural resource.

Progress in pottery technique was shared all over the world!

  1. The Egyptians made kilns to place their clay pots in for firing.

  2. Ancient Greek vases are highly valued for form and decoration.

  3. In medieval Europe, sand was mixed with clay to make cooking pots strong enough to be placed over an open fire.

  4. Around the middle of the thirteenth century, German potters started to produce stoneware.

  5. Light, transparent porcelain was first produced in China.

  6. Late in the sixteenth century, a Spanish trade route brought pottery from China to South America and Europe.

The invention of pottery was key in the advancement in cooking, culture, and beauty. It is celebrated and admired now more than ever. As you drink from your favorite mug or use your beautiful vase, take a moment to appreciate pottery's history.


Stonehouse Pottery is a hand-thrown ceramics studio located in Wooster, Ohio. Led by artist Emily Mariola, each piece is uniquely created from start to finish by her hands. Emily has over 24 years of experience making beautiful pottery pieces and has sold over 20,000 products. Stonehouse Pottery crafts practical pieces like dishes, mugs, plates, decor, and specialty pieces that incorporate into everyday life. Explore the catalog at Stonehousepottery.co to find your next favorite piece.