Working with Clay

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  • 1. Sculpting With ClayCreating 3D Works of Ceramic Art!
  • 2. What is clay?A fine-grained, firmearthy material that isplastic (malleable)when wet and hardenswhen heated.It is used to makeceramic art.
  • 3. Brief History of CeramicsThe earliest piece of pottery,Venus of Dolni Vestonice, datesbetween 29,000 and 25,000 BC.Found in an area of what is nowthe Czech Republic.Chinese pottery dates back to10,000 BC.Between 6000 and 4000 BC thepotters wheel was invented inMesopotamia.
  • 4. Types of ClayEarthenware - the most commonly found clayin nature and is the raw material usually usedto make most of the pottery in the world.Stoneware - clays are named this becausewhen fired they have the characteristics ofstone, which is a hard, dense surfacesometimes with a variegated grayish browncolor.Porcelain - the product of different techniquesof many early Chinese pottery workers. Itsmain ingredient is kaolin, also know as chinaclay.
  • 5. Boxwood tools - Tools provide enough texture and sharpness to shape clay properlyWire Clay Cutter - useful in cutting large lumps of clay. without causing deep gouges or other problems with the clay. Needle - one of the most versatile tools in pottery - just a few of their uses are for scoring slabs and coils when hand building. Brushes - used to carry water and slip to specific areas when you are working the clay, as Loop, Ribbon, and Wire Tools - handy for trimming well as used to paint greenware. and design with slips, underglazes, andRibs - can help shape and smooth pots. overglazes.
  • 6. Techniques - WedgingKneading clay todistributing themoisture evenly,eliminate hardspots in the clay,and force out airbubbles.Properly wedgedclay is verysmooth, with aneven texture.
  • 7. Techniques - Score and Slip To score clay, you hatch small groves/lines into the edges of the piece. A slip is a suspension in water of clay and/or other materials used in the production of ceramic ware. In order to attach two wet pieces of clay, you have to score both sides with a needle tool and then apply slip and mush them together.
  • 8. Heating Finished PiecesKiln - A special oven used for firing clay.Fire - Means to heat the clay in the kiln. There are two rounds of firing: Bisque Firing - the initial round of firing that hardens the clay (16-18 hours). Glaze Firing - the firing that is done after coating the hardened clay with clear or colored glazes.
  • 9. States of DryingPlastic - Clay in its moist state.Leather-Hard - Clay that is rigid, but not yet dry.Greenware - Unfired clay.Bone Dry - Clay objects which have completelydried after firing.Bisque-ware - pottery that has been fired but notyet glazed.
  • 10. Decorating Your WorkGlaze is a glassy coatingon pottery, the primarypurposes of which aredecoration andprotection.One important use ofglaze is to render porouspottery vesselsimpermeable to waterand other liquids.