Ceramics and glassblowing have been intimately related, from time immemorial. After all, ceramic glazes are indeed glasses! The following is my humorous insight into this happy marriage...
A usenet group I once monitored received the following post. My 'version' of the invention of ceramics (and soap!) is appended:
> if any one have a 2 paragraph history of ceramics please e-mail me i
> have a huge project due tues day
Once upon a time, after a hot and sweaty day of foraging for food and cave painting, a French Neanderthal and his wife (we don't know any more about them than this) built a comfortable bed of springy pine boughs and an evening campfire on the dry clay of an old stream bed. This fellow and his wife roasted the meat of their day's catch over their fire and warmed themselves as their embers and fat drippings smouldered into ash. Later that night, the couple were awakened from their slumbers by a torrential downpour of rain, and found it necessary to seek the shelter of their nearby cave.
The next morning, returning to their spoiled campsite, they inspected the damage and discussed what to do with the money they anticipated receiving from the settling of their caveowners' insurance claim. Peering into the water-filled basin that had been their kitchen from the night before, the Neanderthal woman stirred the greasy, sooty mess with a branch-stub and found that the walls and bottom of their fire pit were now as hard as a rock - they were, in fact, a ceramic! In the process of her investigations she caused the water to bubble and froth with a soapy foam. Calling for her husband to come and see what she'd discovered, the Neanderthal man reached into the pit to gather up some of her bubbles. Peering down into his cupped hands, his woolen cap toppled from his head, fell into the pit, and sank to its bottom. The woman, seeing her husband's precious cap 'consumed' by the turgid and foamy water, beat at the foam with her stick in a futile attempt to drive the fearful bubbles away from his cap. Extricating his cap from their soapy basin with her stick, she rinsed it in the nearby stream. When it dried it was remarkably clean! Attributing this miracle to the newly formed and rock-like lining of their cooking pit, she declared the pit to be "C'est un ami", which is french for 'It is a friend' (this happened in France, remember?). From the phrase 'C'est un ami' we derive our word 'ceramic'.
This is my true and genuine history, in two paragraphs, of ceramics. Now, stop fooling around surfing the web and go do your homework!
Last edited 02-18-03