Monday, March 21, 2011

Clay Terminology

Clay: A sculptural medium. Alumina + silica + water

Leather Hard: Stage of the clay between wet and bone dry. Clay is still damp enough to join it to other pieces using slip.

Bone Dry: Completely air dried.

Firing: This is the process of heating the clay to a specific temperature in order to bring about a change in the clay or the surface (aka glaze). Clay is fired in a kiln. Do NOT touch the kiln!

Wedging: A method of kneading clay to get the air bubbles out. If you have air bubbles in your clay it will explode during firing.

Score and Slip: Score and slip refers to a method of joining two pieces of clay together. First, score the clay: make textured scratches into the surfaces that you would like to join. Then you slip it: add slip to the joint. Next you press the two pieces together and smooth with your fingers or tool.

Coil: This is the technique of building ceramic forms by rolling out coils, or ropes, of clay and joining them together with the fingers or a tool.

Pinch: The "pinch" method means using your fingers to pinch the clay into shape. Pots made in this manner are called "pinch pots".

Handbuilding: This term refers to any of several techniques of building sculptures or pots using only the hands rather than the potters wheel.

Molding: In this technique, slabs of clay are pressed into molds in order to create various shapes or forms.

Throwing on the Potters Wheel: A potter's wheel is a device with either a manual or an electric rotating wheel head used to make pottery forms.

Greenware: This refers to ceramic ware that has not been fired.

Bisque: The term bisque refers to ceramic ware that has been fired once without glaze.

Glaze: A glass-like surface coating for ceramics that is used to decorate and seal the pores of the fired clay.

Quote o' the Week

How it works:

Read the quotes below and write about how one (or more) applies to your life or how you can learn from it (10 points)


Make a visual representation of a quote - drawing, painting, etc. (5 to 100 points depending on quality and effort)

The quotes:

"Teamwork divides the task and multiplies the success."
~ Author Unknown

"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it."
~ H.E. Luccock

"Respect your fellow human being, treat them fairly, disagree with them honestly, enjoy their friendship, explore your thoughts about one another candidly, work together for a common goal and help one another achieve it."
~ Bill Bradley