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Ceramic Terms

An object made from clay that permanently retains its shape after being fired to specific temperatures.
Reduction in the size of clay mass that occurs when water in the clay evaporates during drying to bone-dry state and firing , approximately 10%.
Lightly scratching the edges or surface of clay before joining them together with slip.
A stiff, sticky type of soil whose molecules are flat instead of round like sand or dirt.
Essential property of clay that allows it to be fired at high temperatures.
Phases are wet, leather hard and bone (air) dry.
A hand-building technique that involves rolling the clay into a flat, even thickness.
The first firing that clay goes thorough, at relatively low temperature.
A coating of glass (color or clear) that is fused to the porous surface of a bisque piece.
Kneading clay in a repetitive manner, making it an even consistency and removing air from it.
Clay that comes from a manufacturer, mechanically kneaded and processed so that there are no air bubbles trapped inside the block of clay.
A hand building technique that involves the use of coils or ropes of clay placed on top of each-other, often smoothed together with fingers or a scraper.
Malleable property of clay, enabling it to be shaped or bent without breaking.
A fluid suspension of clay in water, used in joining clay pieces together.
A hand building technique that involves pinching or squeezing the clay between the thumb and four-fingers.
Permeable property of clay; resulting in small cavities in the bisque fired product.
An opening cut or pierced into the clay body to allow an area of trapped air a means of escape.
The phase between plastic and bone-dry, when clay is stiff and slightly damp but on longer plastic. Can be carved, trimmed, cut and/or joined to other pieces without damage.
Extremely fragile stage of air drying, when moisture in the clay body has evaporated, so that the clay surface no longer feels cold
Clay that has dried but never fired. If soaked or exposed to water, it returns to a wet clay form.
A structure built to fire clay at high temperatures; used for both bisque and glaze firing; pronounced "kil".