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Ceramics

Basic ceramics vocabulary

QuestionAnswer
BISQUE Unglazed clay, fired once at a low temperature.
BONE DRY/GREENWARE Clay which is ready to be fired. All the moisture is gone from the clay. Clay is VERY FRAGILE at this stage.
CERAMICS The art of making things of clay.
COILS Rope like pieces of clay.
COIL CONSTRUCTION Rope like pieces of clay that are stacked to form a wall and build the object. This technique is one of the most commonly used hand-building methods.
FIRE To bake in a kiln. Firing is a term used for “cooking” the clay.
FORM Three-dimensional shape and structure of an object.
GLAZE A glassy coating that has been melted onto a ceramic surface. It is used to decorate the piece and to seal the clay surfaces.
GLAZE FIRING Typically the second firing of a piece pottery which has been coated with glass forming materials. The approximate temperature of this firing 2300
INCISING Indenting a line into a flat surface.
KILN Enclosed containers of various sizes- built of refractor brick and heated by electricity, gas, oil, or wood to temperatures from 1500 F. to 2340 F. in which ceramic ware is fired. Also called the “oven” for firing the clay
LEATHER HARD Clay that is dry enough but still damp enough to be joined to other pieces or carved without distortion. Clay at this state resembles leather. Hard to bend and soft enough to be carved.
SCORING Roughing up of the surface of clay for joining.
SLAB/SLAB CONSTRUCTION Clay which has been made flat by rolling. Handbuilding technique in which flat pieces of clay are joined.
SLIP A liquid form of clay used as a glue or as decoration.
STONEWARE A type of clay which is usually grey in color. It is good for handbuilding and throwing because of its high plasticity.
THROWING Forming clay on a potters wheel.
UNDERGLAZE Colored decoration applied to bisqued clay, then coated with a clear glaze. Typically made of clay slip and raw pigment.
WEDGING Method of kneading clay to make it homogenous; ridding the clay of all air pockets.
CENTERING The act of aligning the clay on the potter's wheel in order to proceed with forming and shaping.
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