Clay Making

Clay Making

Just One Part of Art!


Art is something I always found fascinating. I don't find myself particularly creative, but I have always admired those who are. My best friend studies art, and I find her work to be amazing. Where do these ideas stem from, and how does one encapsulate so much into one piece of art? Rather than painting or drawing, I thought working with clay was really neat because one can not only design his or her own work, but also abstractly create the piece's ultimate design. I love learning about clay, and from my friend, I have learned a lot about clay making!

Clay is a natural rock or soil mixture. It combines with other clay mixtures found in nature, such as metal oxides and organic materials in the earth. Clay can be found anywhere in the world, especially areas where water can be found after a heavy rain around soil. Clays are different colors because of the different content of soils and the different areas of the earth that they are found in. The four main types of clay used by the potter are Earthenware clays, Stoneware clays, Mid-Fire Stoneware clays, and High-Fire Stoneware clays. The Earthenware is the most common clay found and is the oldest known. It is highly plastic and sticky. The Stoneware is plastic and typically gray when moist. When fired, their colors range from brown to gray and the type of firing can influence the outcome of the color greatly. Mid-Fire are made to be fired in 2150 to 2260 degrees Fahrenheit and High-Fire are meant to be fired in 2200 to 2336 degrees Fahrenheit. Porcelain clays often have the highest firing temperatures. In high school, I took an art class, and we used Mid-Fire Range because of its ability to be fired, but not to the extreme temperatures, and Earthenware because it is very commonly used in art classes.

There is many techniques when it comes to hand building. One is known as pinch, a method of shaping clay by inserting the thumb of one hand into the clay and lightly pinching with the thumb and fingers while slowly rotating the ball of clay in your other hand. Coil is building ceramic forms by rolling out rolls of coils, or ropes of clay, and then joining them together with your fingers. Slip is used for liquid clay and takes place when a person uses sift or dry clay into a cup of water. It is important to stir well as water is added because it tends to thicken up quickly. Score and slip occurs when two pieces of clay are joined together. First, the clay is scored, when the scratches in the surfaces will stick together. Then it is slipping, in which the surface is wetted and the slip acts as glue. The two pieces are then pressed together. Coil is used to make textures on clay with objects, such as bowls or cups, and pinch is used to make indents and punctures in certain objects. Slip is used for objects of liquid clay, and slip and score is used to simply attach two pieces of clay together. Unlike throwing on the wheel, these hand building techniques allow an artist to create his work manually and form specific shapes by hand.

Firing is the process of bringing clay and glaze up to a high temperature. The final aim is to heat the object to the point that the clay and glaze have reached their optimal level of melting. Bisque firing is processed the first time that clay goes through high-temperature heating, turning pottery into ceramic material. The kiln reaches a maximum temperature of about 1730 degrees Fahrenheit. Bisque firing can take anywhere between 10 to 13 hours, depending upon the density of the object being fired. Glaze firing takes place when the pottery is heated further after the object is painted with glaze. This process takes about nine hours and can heat up to about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit.

In the end, one has manifested a work of art, a specific artifact that has never been seen to the world before. No matter the technnique one uses for clay, something beuatiful will be created.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Founders Of Color Q&A: Yarlap's MaryEllen Reider On Destigmatizing Women's Health

The father-daughter duo co-founded the brand and has since generated a passionate, dedicated community of women.

MaryEllen Reider

I was lucky enough to meet MaryEllen Reider over a decade ago as a fellow freshman in college. Since then, I had the luxury of being able to witness her evolution from the faithful companion I went to my first job fair with to the woman who is now a pioneer in destigmatizing the portrayal of women's reproductive health.

Keep Reading... Show less

My favorite Editor was feeling under the weather yesterday. All I wanted was to make her a vegan iced matcha latte. With distance forbidding it, I instead decided to write up this quick, easy recipe. I made it to be vegan and organic for optimal health benefits.

Matcha green tea is made from grounded green tea leaf and it comes with the most antioxidant boost ever.

Keep Reading... Show less

This coffee brand is USDA organic. Newman's Own Keurig coffee flavors are all organic. They have French Roast, Decaf, and a Special Blend. I'm in a committed relationship with the French Roast flavor. The smell alone from dispensing 1 cup of coffee sets a whole cafe jazz vibe.

I'm already relaxed when I smell the coffee all ready for dressing. The way I make my coffee is simple and sweet, literally. I add a spoon of organic brown sugar and a splash of organic almond vanilla milk. This cup of coffee has changed my life forever. I have never been so productive in my life and I truly believe it's because the coffee is organic.

Keep Reading... Show less

These organic, cruelty-free skincare products are great for hot, sweaty summers. I use them every day, so you will find my honest opinion about them all. I highly recommend using organic products because they are least likely to be harmful to your body.

This may seem like an extra step when it comes to your beauty routine, but it's really easy. These 5 products could be the start of your next beauty venture.

Keep Reading... Show less

These 5 Black Handbag Designers Should Be On Every Accessory Lover's Radar

With the push to support more Black-owned businesses, we've put together a list of Black owned handbag designers.

Ever since the current upheaval of societal silence happening in the country caused by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, there has been a bigger push for people to support Black-owned businesses.

Granted, there are a lot fo Black-owned businesses to support, it just takes time to find them. With that being said, fashion is a sector, just like any sector really, in a culture that still has people of color calling out for more diversity.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because Therapy Dogs Aren't Just Cute, They're Working

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

There are many different ways people overcome obstacles in their lives. Thankfully, the stigma surrounding therapy is slowly (but surely) slipping away and we're opening up about our problems and needs. For some, a good workout is just as relaxing. Others are learning how meditation can be a helpful tool in their mental health journey.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments