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Transcript of Pottery
Forming clay by hand using a methodical pinching (squeezing) process in which the clay walls are thinned by pinching them with thumb and forefinger.
A horizontal revolving disk on which wet clay is shaped into pots or other round ceramic objects.
Making a pot on a potters wheel.
Pots, dishes, and other articles made of earthenware or baked clay.
1. A fine-grained, firm earthy material that is plastic when wet and hardens when heated, consisting primarily of hydrated silicates of aluminum and widely used in making bricks, tiles, and pottery.
2. Moist sticky earth; mud.
Slab Building Method
Coil Building Method
Coiling is a hand building technique used to make pots. Plastic ‘snakes’ of clay are used. They can vary from a thin strip to a large sausage like strip. It is hand manipulated, pinched and squashed together to form a pot without the coil like look from how it was started, though in some cases the clay can be left snakelike for the decorative look. Typically this is started at the base of the pot and built upwards.
Clay slabs (broad, flat pieces) are cut to shape and joined together using scoring and wet clay called slip. Slabs can be draped over or into forms, rolled around cylinders or built-up into geometric forms.
In the past, potters had to dig their own clay as there were no other options. Today most potters buy commercially available clay, however some potters still dig their own clay and feel a connection to the earth through this process.
Wedging is the process of mixing the clay by hand by rotating and pressing a clay ball on a table. The purpose is to thoroughly mix the clay and to remove all air bubbles.
After the clay has been thoroughly wedged, it may be formed by a variety of methods: slab, wheel, coil, pinch, and mold. These methods may be combined, or used singly. Pieces of clay are attached together by scoring and using slip.
When the clay bag is opened, the drying process begins. As clay dries, it loses water, becomes stiffer, and shrinkage begins.
After forming, pieces you create should be wrapped in sheets of plastic. The plastic will slow down (but not stop) the drying process, to ensure that when you return several days later, your pieces will still be workable.
After your pieces have dried for a few days in plastic, they will reach of stage of partial dryness referred to as leatherhard.
This is an excellent time to refine the piece: carving excess clay, adding handles or decorative elements, etc. This is the last chance you have to change the shape of the piece.
When a piece of pottery has dried completely (bone dry) it is referred to as greenware. This means it has lost all water through evaporation and has no flexibility. Bending it will break it.
This is when the clay is hardened by heating it to a high temperature. The greenware goes into the kiln to be fired. The kiln is heated to approximately 1800 degrees F.
Now the glazing process can begin. The glaze, a mixture of ground glass, clays, coloring materials and water, is applied to the bisque pot by dipping, pouring, spraying, brushing, sponging, or some combination of these techniques. The footring/ bottom of each piece must be free of glaze.
In this firing the kiln is heated approximately 2350 degrees F. melting the glaze and turning it into a thin layer of glass.
Your pottery is now complete!
The furnace/oven in which the clay is fired.
Wet clay (mixture of clay and water) used to help fasten pieces of clay together.
A technique used in which marks are made on the surface of two pieces of clay before joining with slip.
Forming clay by draping it over, pressing or pouring it in, or somehow forming it around another object to give it the form of the original object.
Once a piece of clay has been formed ,
it can then be modified. It can be pressed into, drawn on or carved into to create areas of relief or some of the clay can be completely removed with subtractive sculptural techniques. Things can also be added using additive sculptural techniques. Always remember to score and slip.