Frances Osborne Pottery and Ceramics



Clay/Pottery/Ceramics VocabularyFrances Osborne Austin Tx

Bisque: Unglazed ceramic after the first firing.

Coil: Clay rolled into a log.

Greenware: Completely dry clay piece which is very brittle. This is the stage the clay must reach before firing.

In-The-Round (3-Dimensional): A work of art which is viewed from all sides and has width, height, as well as depth. 

Feet/Foot: The raised base of a vessel.

Fire: To heat the clay in a kiln at a very high temperature until it is hard and it becomes ceramic.

Glaze: A mixture of ceramic materials including clay, silica and fluxes that forms the protective and decorative coating on the surface of pottery when subjected to high temperatures in a kiln.

In-The-Round (3-Dimensional): A work of art which is viewed from all sides and has width, height, as well as depth.

man making vase on a pottery wheel

Kiln: An oven or furnace that can achieve very high temperatures (2000 to 2300) and is used for firing bisque and glazed ceramic ware.

Leather-Hard: Drying stage of clay which is slightly wet but stiff. The perfect stage for carving or incising designs into.

Lip: The rim of a cup, bowl, vase or saucer.

Sculpture: A three-dimensional work of art that is intended to be viewed from all sides.

Slab: A rolled out piece of clay of a certain thickness.

Scoring: Carving tiny slits into the moist clay with a fork or scoring tool before adding slip and joining.

Slip: Clay mixed with water to the consistency of a heavy cream or milk shake. Used to join clay pieces together.

Slip and Score: Process of joining 2 pieces of clay by texturing each piece slightly with little cuts where they will be joined then applying slip (watered down clay) or vinegar and pressing together to form a strong bond. 

Underglaze: A special type of color that is put on a ceramic piece before the glaze. It has no flux (glass former) in it so it stays where it is put when fired and is good for detail work. It is used for painting and decorating.

Wedging: Kneading the clay to remove air bubbles while drawing some of the water out and distributing moisture evenly.

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