Ceramics terms

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Ceramics terms

  1. 1. Ceramics Terms Ceramics: Greek word for keramos, meaning “potter’s clay.” Dates back to c. 25,000 BC. Kiln: Oven in which to fire clay.
  2. 2. Terms/Definitions Kneading/wedging: Process of preparing clay before use to mix clay and expel air pockets. *If you are NOT using new clay, then clay MUST be kneaded and wedged before use. *If you do not do so, the clay may explode or chip off in large chucks during the firing stage due to air pockets.
  3. 3. “Gluing” Slip: Liquid clay; clay with water. Score: To lightly cut lines into surface of clay. Slipping and scoring: Method of applying or “gluing” clay to the surface of a piece of work. *You MUST slip and score every piece of clay that will be attached to another piece of clay. *If you do not, those clay pieces will fall off or explode during the firing stage due to air in between pieces.
  4. 4. Building Stages (3) 1. Plastic: Stage of clay where it is flexible and capable of being molded and shaped. New clay. 2. Leather-hard: Stage of clay where it is fairly stiff and capable of being incised, pierced, etc. 3. Bone-dry: Stage of clay where it is ready to be fired; appears white like bone. Very fragile at this stage. Cannot be decorated, etc.
  5. 5. Firing Stages (2) Firing: Process of applying controlled and sustained heat to clay or glazed clay in a kiln (1st stage, 2nd stage). Greenware: Clay that is ready to be fired. When clay is bone-dry, it is ready to be fired. It is then called greenware by ceramicists. 2. Bisque: Clay that has been fired only once and is not glazed. At this point, it is now considered to be “ceramic.” It is called bisque-ware by ceramicists.
  6. 6. Glazing Glazing: Process by which glaze is applied to bisque-fired clay before firing. *Glaze must be applied evenly and neatly with a clean brush. *3 coats are recommended. *Do NOT glaze any area that is considered to be the “bottom” of a ceramic object. The glaze will melt, stick to the inside of the kiln, and ultimately ruin both the kiln and the ceramic piece.
  7. 7. Types of Building (6) 1.Pinching: Simplest and most direct of hand-forming clay where it is “pinched” with the fingers and thumb. 2.Slab building/slabbing: Method of forming pottery objects using flat sheets or “slabs” that are slipped and scored together. *Slab building will be used for the luminary project. 3. Press molding/molding: Method of forming pottery objects by pressing sheets of clay over a surface of a mold.
  8. 8. Types of Building (cont’d) 4.Coil building/coiling: Method of building clay forms from ropes of clay or “coils” that are placed directly on top of one another. 5.Throwing: Process of hand-forming a mass of soft plastic clay on a rotating wheel. 6. Reducing (reduction): Process of molding clay by removing or “reducing” excess clay in order to form.
  9. 9. Types of Decorating (5) 1.Applied decoration/applying: Process of adding or “applying” clay to the surface of a piece of work up until it becomes leather-hard. 2.Impressing: Process of making marks by impressing objects into a clay surface while clay is somewhat soft but not too hard. 3. Incising: Process of decorating clay by cutting into or “incising” the surface of the clay.
  10. 10. Types of Decorating (cont’d) 4.Rolled decoration/rolling: Process of decorating the surface of plastic clay by using simple textured rollers. 5.Pierced decoration/piercing: Process of cutting through or “piercing” holes in the clay once it is leather-hard. *Piercing will be used for the luminary project. *One other form of decoration will also be required.
  11. 11. And lastly… Sculpture: Art of carving wood, chiseling stone, casting or welding metal, molding clay or wax, etc., into 3-D representations. Utilitarian: Of or having to do with usefulness over “beauty.” Applied art is art that is meant to be functional as well as visually pleasing.
  12. 12. Project Criteria • Create an 6x6" ceramic tile dedicated to an artist or culture • Tile design will use symbols, marks and colors that represent your artist or culture • Tile design includes incised, impressed, applied and reductive techniques • Ceramic tile uses a gloss and matte glaze finish and at least two (2) colors or tones

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