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Tag Archives: basics

5 Ways to Prevent Explosions in Your Kiln

  It happens to everyone. A piece of greenware blows up, sending ceramic shards flying everywhere. You’re lucky if the explosion doesn’t take down other pieces in the process. A waste of clay and hard work… and tons of fun to clean up. But why do pieces explode in the …

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Maximizing food safety: matching clay to glazes

Maximizing food safety: matching clay to glazes As long as your clay has a higher firing range than the glaze, any food safe glaze will work on functional pottery, right? Well, not quite. Not matching your clay and glaze can causes problems such as crazing. Crazing is cracking on the …

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Enhancing your clay with additives

Enhancing your clay with additives Non-clay materials can be added to bodies to enhance their workability or fired surface characteristics. Today we’re going to talk about the most common clay additives: grog, paper, sand, and nylon fibers. Grog is prefired ceramic material that is ground up into different mesh sizes …

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Quick and Dirty Guide to Firing Ranges

We could say a lot about firing ranges. Within each range there’s a whole gamut of surface effects and utilitarian properties. But for those in a hurry, here’s a quick run down of the three main firing ranges. Low Fire / Cone 03-06 (1745°F to 2012°F). The most common form …

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Need to know: Stages of drying in clay

Clay artists use a few key terms to describe the stages of clay dryness during forming. It’s important to know and understand these stages so you’ll know when to attach, when you can continue to build onto larger forms, attach handles, when you can apply slip, engobes, underglaze, and when …

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Basics of construction

I’m a big fan of distilling information into the very bare-bones. As with most mediums, ceramics has core techniques which make the building blocks of all forms. We’re going to share with you a summary of the basics forms to master for clay work: The Pinch Pot A perennial favorite …

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What is clay?

Dirt. Mud. Clay. In the vernacular it can be kind of relative. But for ceramicists, clays are a mixture of minerals and organic matter. They can be naturally occurring, like clays dug out of the ground, or commercially mixed, like those found at a pottery supply store. Commercially mixed clays …

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