GROUTING

Grout is a particularly fluid form of concrete used to fill gaps. It is used in construction to embed rebars in masonry walls, connect sections of pre-cast concrete, fill voids, and seal joints such as those between tiles. Grout is generally a mixture of water, cement, sand, often color tint, and sometimes fine gravel (if it is being used to fill large spaces such as the cores of concrete blocks). Unlike other structural pastes such as plaster or joint compound, correctly-mixed and -applied grout forms a waterproof seal.

Although both are applied as a thick emulsion and harden over time, grout is distinguished from its close relative mortar by its viscosity; grout is thin so it flows readily into gaps, while mortar is thick enough to support not only its own weight, but also that of masonry placed on top of it

Tools associated with groutwork include:
1) Grout saw or grout scraper a manual tool for removal of old and discolored grout. The blade is usually composed of tungsten carbide.
2) Grout float a trowel-like tool for smoothing the surface of a grout line, typically made of rubber or soft plastic.
3) Grout sealer a water-based or solvent-based sealant applied over dried grout that resists water, oil, and acid-based contaminants.
4) Dremel grout attachment an attachment guide used in a die grinder for faster removal of old grout than a standard grout saw.
5) Pointing Trowel Used for applying grout in flagstone, and other stone works.

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Ceramic art

Ceramic art is art made from ceramic materials (including clay), which may take forms including art ware, tile, figurines, sculpture, and tableware. Ceramic art is one of the arts, particularly one of the visual arts, and of those, it is one of the plastic arts. While some ceramics are considered fine art, some are considered to be decorative, industrial or applied art objects. Ceramics may also be considered artefacts in archaeology. Ceramic art can be made by one person or by a group of people. In a pottery or ceramic factory, a group of people design, manufacture and decorate the art ware. Products from a pottery are sometimes referred to as “art pottery.” In a one-person pottery studio, ceramists or potters produce studio pottery.

The word “ceramics” comes from the Greek keramikos (κεραμικος), meaning “pottery”, which in turn comes from keramos (κεραμος) meaning “potter’s clay.” Most traditional ceramic products were made from clay (or clay mixed with other materials), shaped and subjected to heat, and tableware and decorative ceramics are generally still made this way. In modern ceramic engineering usage, ceramics is the art and science of making objects from inorganic, non-metallic materials by the action of heat. It excludes glass and mosaic made from glass tesserae.

There is a long history of ceramic art in almost all developed cultures, and often ceramic objects are all the artistic evidence left from vanished cultures, like that of the Nok in Africa over 2,000 years ago. Cultures especially noted for ceramics include the Chinese, Cretan, Greek, Persian, Mayan, Japanese, and Korean cultures, as well as the modern Western cultures.

There is a long history of ceramic art in almost all developed cultures, and often ceramic objects are all the artistic evidence left from vanished cultures, like that of the Nok in Africa over 2,000 years ago. Cultures especially noted for ceramics include the Chinese, Cretan, Greek, Persian, Mayan, Japanese, and Korean cultures, as well as the modern Western cultures.

Although pottery figurines are found from earlier periods in Europe, the oldest pottery vessels come from East Asia, with finds in China and Japan, then still linked by a land bridge, and some in what is now the Russian Far East, providing several from 20,000–10,000 BCE, although the vessels were simple utilitarian objects. Xianrendong Cave in Jiangxi province contained pottery fragments that date back to 20,000 years ago.

Some experts believe the first true porcelain was made in the province of Zhejiang in China during the Eastern Han period. Shards recovered from archaeological Eastern Han kiln sites estimated firing temperature ranged from 1,260 to 1,300 °C (2,300 to 2,370 °F).[29] As far back as 1000 BCE, the so-called “porcelaneous wares” or “proto-porcelain wares” were made using at least some kaolin fired at high temperatures. The dividing line between the two and true porcelain wares is not a clear one. Archaeological finds have pushed the dates to as early as the Han Dynasty (206–BCE – 220)

Until the 16th century, small quantities of expensive Chinese porcelain were imported into Europe. From the 16th century onwards attempts were made to imitate it in Europe, including soft-paste and the Medici porcelain made in Florence. None was successful until a recipe for hard-paste porcelain was devised at the Meissen factory in Dresden in 1710. Within a few years, porcelain factories sprung up at Nymphenburg in Bavaria (1754) and Capodimonte in Naples (1743) and many other places, often financed by a local ruler.

History of Ceramic

Ceramics is one of the most ancient industries on the planet. Once humans discovered that clay could be dug up and formed into objects by first mixing with water and then firing, the industry was born. As early as 24,000 BC, animal and human figurines were made from clay and other materials, then fired in kilns partially dug into the ground.

Almost 10,000 years later, as settled communities were established, tiles were manufactured in Mesopotamia and India. The first use of functional pottery vessels for storing water and food is thought to be around 9000 or 10,000 BC. Clay bricks were also made around the same time.

Glass was believed to be discovered in Egypt around 8000 BC, when overheating of kilns produced a colored glaze on the pottery. Experts estimate that it was not until 1500 BC that glass was produced independently of ceramics and fashioned into separate items.

Fast forward to the Middle Ages, when the metal industry was in its infancy. Furnaces at that time for melting the metal were constructed of natural materials. When synthetic materials with better resistance to high temperatures (called refractories) were developed in the 16th century, the industrial revolution was born. These refractories created the necessary conditions for melting metals and glass on an industrial scale, as well as for the manufacture of coke, cement, chemicals, and ceramics.

Another major development occurred in the second half of the 19th century, when ceramic materials for electrical insulation were developed. As other inventions came on the scene-including automobiles, radios, televisions, computers-ceramic and glass materials were needed to help these become a reality, as shown in the following timeline.

Ceramic artifacts have an important role in archaeology for understanding the culture, technology and behavior of peoples of the past. They are among the most common artifacts to be found at an archaeological site, generally in the form of small fragments of broken pottery called sherds. Processing of collected sherds can be consistent with two main types of analysis: technical and traditional.

Traditional analysis involves sorting ceramic artifacts, sherds and larger fragments into specific types based on style, composition, manufacturing and morphology. By creating these typologies it is possible to distinguish between different cultural styles, the purpose of the ceramic and technological state of the people among other conclusions. In addition, by looking at stylistic changes of ceramics over time is it possible to separate (seriate) the ceramics into distinct diagnostic groups (assemblages). A comparison of ceramic artifacts with known dated assemblages allows for a chronological assignment of these pieces.

The technical approach to ceramic analysis involves a finer examination of the composition of ceramic artifacts and sherds to determine the source of the material and through this the possible manufacturing site. Key criteria are the composition of the clay and the temper used in the manufacture of the article under study: temper is a material added to the clay during the initial production stage, and it is used to aid the subsequent drying process. Types of temper include shell pieces, granite fragments and ground sherd pieces called ‘grog’. Temper is usually identified by microscopic examination of the temper material. Clay identification is determined by a process of refiring the ceramic, and assigning a color to it using Munsell Soil Color notation. By estimating both the clay and temper compositions, and locating a region where both are known to occur, an assignment of the material source can be made. From the source assignment of the artifact further investigations can be made into the site of manufacture.