Clay comes in many different colors and textures, and what works well for one technique or finished effect may not work as well for another. Some clays are smooth, and great for tableware, while a clay that has sand or grog (ground up fired clay) added to it and feels rough might be better for sculpture or large pieces.
terms to know
Greenware - unfired pottery
Kiln - a type of oven that can fire pottery at high temperatures
Bisque firing - the first firing in a kiln
Bisque ware - any pottery that has been fired in a kiln without a ceramic glaze
Glaze ware - any pottery that has a glass coating on the surface. It can give the surface a glossy, matte, smooth, textured, opaque, or clear finish.
To set aside a work in progress to come back to later, wrap tightly with plastic to prevent the clay from drying out. Unused clay should also be wrapped tightly in plastic to prevent it from drying out.
Our video Storing Clay in the Classroom demonstrates different techniques for storing clay that can be used in both a classroom studio and a personal studio.
Scraps, both wet and dry, can be reused. Place dry scraps in a bucket with water until it makes a thick slip, then dry on plaster or concrete slab, or a canvas-covered board and wedge. Until fired, clay can be reused.
Our video Recycling Clay in the Classroom demonstrates different techniques for recycling clay that can be used in both a classroom studio and a personal studio.