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unglazed but fired ware, usually accomplished in a low temperature firing prior to glaze


polishing with a smooth stone or tool on leather-hear clay or slip to make a surface sheen, the surface will not stay shiny at temperatures above 2000F


fine-grained earth materials and when combined with water it is plastic enough to be shaped

coiling, coil-building

constricting hollow forms of rolling and attaching ropes of soft clay


finished leather-hard or bone-dry clay pieces not yet fired, raw ware


electric or gas oven that heats clay up to very high temperatures

kiln furniture

refractory shelves and posts which ceramic ware is placed while being fired in the kiln

kiln wash

a protective coating of refractory materials applied to the surface of the shelves and the kiln floor to prevent excess glaze from fusing the ware to the shelves


moving and shaping clay, usually with the fingers


move-ability and stretch of the clay

pug mill

a horizontal machine with blades used to bring clay into a workable plastic state


contraction of clay in either drying or firing, it loses actual mass due to evaporation of water

slab construction

a hand-building method in which forms are created by joining flat pieces of clay, the pieces are thinned and flattened with a rolling pin or a slab


a suspension of ceramic materials in water, generally refers to casting slip for molds, can mean a liquid clay englobe for decorating or a glaze slip

bone dry

an unfired piece must reach this stage of dryness to be bisque fired


ground, fired clay which added to clay bodies to give strength and reduce shrinkage

leather hard

condition of clay when most but not all moisture has left the clay body


a tool used to form clay on or off the wheel


texturizing the surface where two pieces of clay are joined to create a strong joint


a process that prepares clay for forming, this is the most important step in clay work


texture of quality of coarseness in a clay body necessary in clay to make it life and support weight in hand-building, results from addition of fine grog, sand, or any slightly coarse particles


distortion of a pot in drying because of uneven wall thickness or a warm draft of air, o in firing when a kiln does not heat uniformly


glass like, hard, dense, pertaining to the hard, glassy, and nonabsorbent quality of a body of glaze


a material that when mixed with clay is highly combustible when both clay and this material are heated together

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