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ceramics 1 & 2 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Welcome back to. ceramics 1 & 2. Today’s Outline. Room tour (TAKE NOTES!) Stages of Clay Firing Stages of Clay Wedging Clay Success Rates (will my work survive the elements?) Recycling Clay How to look at Ceramics Take home article: Peter Christian Johnson or Saskia Detering.

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today s outline
Today’s Outline
  • Room tour (TAKE NOTES!)
  • Stages of Clay
  • Firing Stages of Clay
  • Wedging Clay
  • Success Rates (will my work survive the elements?)
  • Recycling Clay
  • How to look at Ceramics
  • Take home article: Peter Christian Johnson or SaskiaDetering
room tour
Room Tour
  • Wheel area with cabinet space and tools
  • Studio workspace and cabinets and tools
  • Window space
  • Bisque and glaze shelves
  • Clay mixing area
  • Glaze area
  • Kiln Room and firing temperatures
stages of clay
Stages of Clay
  • Slip
  • Plastic
  • Leather Hard
  • Greenware (Bone dry)
  • Bisqueware
  • Stoneware or Glazed Product
stages of clay1
Stages of Clay


  • The elements and components of clay with excessive water. Can be poured and has the consistency of really thick soup.
  • Used to cast objects in plaster molds or during the scoring process
stages of clay2
Stages of Clay


  • Clay body is unstable, very moldable, and has excessive water still
  • Best example: clay on the wheel, pulled handles for cups, or recycled clay
stages of clay3
Stages of Clay

Leather hard

  • Feels like smooth leather
  • Clay body is stable, but still slightly malleable
  • Ideal for slab building, trimming a foot on a bowl or pot
  • Slipping and scoring additional pieces can happen at this process
  • Sgraffito (drawing on clay) can happen at this stage
stages of clay4
Stages of Clay

Bone Dry (Greenware)

  • Clay is completely dry
  • Extremely fragile and could break easily
  • Nothing can really be done to your piece at this point.
  • Clay must be bone dry before being recycled!!
  • Ready to be Bisqued
stages of clay5
Stages of Clay


  • Clay has gone through a Cone 06 firing process
  • Is more durable than Greenware, but not by much
  • Water has evaporated from the clay body (vitrified)
  • Has a pinkish hue
  • Ready to be glazed!
stages of clay6
Stages of Clay


  • Stoneware is the name of the clay we are using
  • Our clay is fired at Cone 10 (About 2381 degrees Farenheit).
  • A lot of shrinking has taken place, so your piece will be smaller
  • Food safe (Depending on the glaze!)
firing clay
Firing Clay
  • Bisque Fire
  • Glaze Fire
firing clay1
Firing Clay
  • Once Greenware is Bonedry, it goes in the kiln
  • We fire at Cone 06 (1830 degrees Farenheit)
  • Art can be stacked or placed inside one another during a bisque firing
  • We’ll talk about stacking and temperature schedules on our fist bisque fire.
firing clay2
Firing Clay
  • Open kiln during the bisque fire.
  • This firing was opened at about Cone 06
  • Not a good idea to open kiln after it’s reached 1,000 degrees.
    • Extremely hot
    • Can crack artwork
firing clay3
Firing Clay
  • Bisquare is ready to glaze
  • We’ll talk more about glazes when the time comes
firing clay4
Firing Clay
  • After glazing our work, we load it into the gas kiln
  • The advantages to gas kiln glazing, is greater control over the atmosphere inside the kiln.
  • There are 3 types of firing (reduction, neutral, and oxidization)
  • We only do reduction firings in this course
  • Oxidation: an abundance of oxygen in the kiln atmosphere
  • Reduction: an abundance of carbon in the kiln atmosphere
    • Basically, we’re reducing oxygen.
firing clay5
Firing Clay

Object during cone 10 glazing

wedging demo
Wedging Demo
  • Wedging removes air from the clay body
  • Removal of air bubbles is important, so your work doesn’t crack or explode in the kiln!
success rates1
Success Rates
  • The survival of your piece depends on how well you take care of it.
  • It cannot contain: air bubbles, cracks, super thin or thick walls
  • Thin walls will crack
  • Thick walls will explode in the kiln!
  • Wall sizes should be 1/8 to 1/4 inch. 1/2 at the most for large pieces.
  • Not all pieces will survive, that’s why it’s important to make multiples
success rates2
Success Rates
  • Manufacture success rates are above 90%
    • Little room for error
  • Professional Artists are about 50-75%
  • Mine: about 50-70% or 50 out of every 90 – 100 pieces made
    • I experiment A LOT
  • Your rates: likely 25-70%
    • It all depends on how well you construct and take care of your work!
recycling clay demo
Recycling Clay Demo
  • Clay in this form is called “Reclaim”
  • Needs to be mixed with dry clay and ran through pug mill to use again
  • Do not put leather hard clay in reclaim bucket!
  • Let clay get bone dry before putting in this bucket!
elements of art
Elements of Art
  • Line : a mark made with length and direction.
  • Shape : a two-dimensional area that defines and establishes contour.
  • Form : the quality of being three-dimensional.
  • Space : that which is around and between shapes and forms.
  • Value : the degree of lightness and darkness.
  • Color : the response of vision to wavelengths of light; the presence of pigment.
  • Texture : the quality of a surface, actual or implied.
principles of art
Principles of Art
  • Unity : quality of visual wholeness or oneness.
  • Contrast : a sharp difference of size, shape, color, value, or texture.
  • Variety : using diversity to create interest.
  • Emphasis : stressing or calling attention to some part of an artwork, creating a focal point.
  • Movement : using the elements of art to direct the eye through a composition.
  • Balance : equal visual weight.
  • Pattern/Repetition : the use of an element of art more than once.
  • Rhythm : repetition of visual movement.