Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Today in class we took notes on Ceramics or the study of clay.

We learned some terms:
  • States of clay drying and being fired:
    • Greenware - wet clay
      • Slip / Mud - clay is goopy an really wet
        • Blocking - process in working with clay on a plaster surface to work out the moisture in the clay, and shaping the clay into a block
      • Plastic - clay is malleable and easy to work with. This is the best state to work with the clay
      • Leather hard - Feels like leather. In this state it is easy to carve into the clay without it fraying or splintering
      • Bone dry - This is when the clay is ready to be put into the kiln to be fired
    • Bisqueware - fired clay generally in a kiln
      • Kiln - an electric or gas appliance that is used to "fire" clay
      • Fire - an antiquated term used to describe the cooking or baking of clay. 
      • Pyrometric cone - used to measure the internal temperature of the kiln

        • △ - The triangle signifies "cone"
        • We use two different types of cones:

            1. 04  - Used for a bisque fire - 1945 
            2. 05  - Used for a glazeware fire - 1888 
      • Ceramicware / Glazeware
        • A piece of pottery that has been glazed or slipped and then fired in the kiln
      • Tools
        • Fettling knife
        • Toggle wire
        • Boxwood tool
        • Popsicle stick
        • Loop tool
        • Canvas board
        • Pin tool
      • Other Terms
        • Wedging - "kneading" the clay to eliminate air bubbles
        • Blocking - the process of wedging wet clay on a plaster bat in order to dry it into a usable plastic blocks