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clay

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

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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.

Click the button below to view our full glossary of ceramic terms.

 
 
 

Stages of clay

Kiln Stages

4. Bisque 

5. Glaze

Greenware Stages

1. Wet Work 

2. Leather Hard 
3. Bone Dry

Click the button below to download an Introduction to Clay presentation for your classroom. 

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storing clay

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.

 

recycling clay

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.

 

Supply lists

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Clay and Glaze Supply List

Tool Supply List