The Stages of Clay

The Stages of Clay

Aug 23, 2023Joey Simon

Clay is an amazing material that can turn into beautiful pottery through a special process. Let's learn about the stages of clay:

Plasticity Stage: Clay is soft and ready to be shaped. You can roll it, pinch it, and carve into it. Remember to keep it moist by adding water. In clay wheel classes, we have water buckets to help with that.

Leather Dry: After about 24 hours, the clay becomes leather hard. It feels cool and has a texture like hard cheese or leather. You can still change the shape or trim it at this stage.

Bone Dry: The clay becomes very dry and breakable. It takes around 7-14 days to reach this stage. Once it's bone dry, it's ready for the first kiln firing.

Bisqued: After the first firing, the clay is bisqued. It turns into a ceramic and becomes hard but still porous. The color may change after this firing.

Glazed: Underglaze, a special paint, is applied to the ceramic piece. Then, a clear overglaze is added to make it shiny and food safe. The piece needs to be fired again to set the glaze.

Finished Pottery: After the glaze firing, the ceramic piece is complete. Regular acrylic paint can't be used because it would burn off in the kiln's high temperatures.

The journey of clay is like an artistic adventure, where we can explore and express ourselves. Clay and pottery are timeless and inspiring, and force us to slow down. They connect us with nature and our imagination, bringing joy and fulfillment to our lives.


Register for 5 week clay wheel class here

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