Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Animal Whistles

Today we learned a little about Ceramics. These are the notes that were given in class.

Ceramics is derived from the heating of clay to a critical point in which the properties within the clay change and then it hardens when cooled.

The type of clay that we will use for our project is called earthenware clay.

Earthenware clay is a low fire clay, and it is processed at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT.
This is a really cool place to visit if you ever get an opportunity while your family is in Helena.

We discussed three different types of states the clay goes through as it dries:
  1. Plastic - Soft and malleable, easy to work with
  2. Leather Hard - In this state it feels like leather, and while in this state the clay is easy to carve into. 
  3. Bone Dry - This is the state that where the moisture has left the clay body and is the piece is now kiln ready.
We also discussed a few tools and a technique to join to clay bodies or pieces together:
  • Slip - Watery clay used as a sort of "glue" to join clay pieces together
  • Score - A technique used to rough up the surface of the clay in order to join clay pieces together
  • Fettling Knife - Used to score, smooth, cut, and create texture in clay.
  • Pin Tool - Used to score, texture, and model clay
  • Boxwood Tool - Used to score, cut, texture, model, and smooth clay.
  • Canvas Board - Used to work with your clay
Other vocabulary:
  • Fire - general term associated with cooking or heating clay
  • Bisque - clay that has been fired in the kiln and is now hardened
  • Kiln - Used to "fire" the clay
    • Electric
    • Gas
    • Wood Fire
  • Pyrometric Cone - Pyro = fire    metric = measure
    • Used to determine the temperature within the kiln. The cone generally has a triangle symbol denoting "cone" △= cone 
    • We use low fire earthenware clay so we will be using two different cones:
      • △04 Bisque     1940o
      • △05 Glazing   1915o F