CERAMICS What is Ceramics? - Presentation

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CERAMICS What is Ceramics?

Pottery or clay sculpture fired at high temperatures in a kiln to make them harder and stronger. . Ceramics Around the World. Ceramics have been used, throughout the world, for tens of thousands of years..

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CERAMICS What is Ceramics?

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What is Ceramics?

Pottery or clay sculpture fired at high temperatures in a kiln to make them harder and stronger


Ceramics Around the World

Ceramics have been used, throughout the world, for tens of thousands of years.

Archeologists have uncovered human-made ceramics in the form of animal and human figurines that date back to at least 24,000 BC. Slide4

Examples of African and

Middle Eastern Ceramics



Democratic Republic

of Congo



1800 BCSlide5

Examples of Asian Ceramics


China – Ming Dynasty

1300 AD

Terra Cotta Warriors

210 BCSlide6

Examples of North and

South American Ceramics

Peru (Incan)

400 AD

United States (Native American Pueblo)Slide7

Examples of European Ceramics




Examples of Contemporary CeramicsSlide9

Examples of Contemporary CeramicsSlide10



Kiln: a specially designed oven capable of reaching temperatures over 2000° F (can be electric, gas, or wood-fired)

Clay: moist, sticky dirt (mud) composed of fine-grained minerals, which can be shaped when wet and hardened when dried or heated


: mainly used to shape claySlide11

Common Types of Clay


: clay fired at relatively low temperatures (1800°F-2100°F), often contains iron and has a porous surface when fired

Stoneware: a buff, gray or brown clay which is heavy, opaque, and highly plastic in nature with a high firing temperature (2200°F-2400°F)


: a very fine white clay with a high firing temperature (2200°F-2550°F), is non-porous, strong, and translucent when firedSlide12

Tools, Tools, Tools….

modeling tools


wire clay cutter

loop tools



Clay Shaping Methods

Wheel Throwing

Slip CastingHand BuildingSlide14

Slip Cast CeramicsSlide15

Hand Building

Pinch Pot

Coil ConstructionSlab ConstructionSlide16

Pinch Pot

Pinching is a pottery technique fundamental to manipulating clay. Making a pinch pot consists of

pressing the thumb into a ball of clay, and drawing the clay out into a pot by repeatedly squeezing the clay between the thumb and fingers.  Slide17

Pinch PotsSlide18

Coil Construction

Coils are long, snake-like ropes of clay that are used in making pottery. It involves building the walls of a form with a series of coils into the required shape. The surface can either remain coil-textured or they can be smoothed

. Slide19

How to make a coil potSlide20

Coil CeramicsSlide21

Some advanced coil ceramicsSlide22

Stages of Clay

Wet clay

: soft/plastic clay

Leather hard (greenware):

clay is dry enough to maintain form and wet enough to be smoothed, carved, and added to

Bone dry (greenware

): clay has dried as much as possible before first firing and is extremely brittle

Bisque: first firing where all remaining water molecules are released from the clay transforming it into ceramic (Why are air bubbles dangerous during a bisque fire?)

Glazed: second firing where glaze has melted into the ceramic surface making it non-porousSlide27


Hazards of clay dust:

Silica particles = extremely tiny pieces of glass, which became airborne and easily inhaled….extremely hazardous to lungsSolution:

WET clean-up prevents dust from building up and becoming airborneUse wet sponges, spray bottles, wet paper towelSlide28

So what we are doing today…

I will demo how to start to make a coil pot.

We will then use some time to experiment with the material of clay and get used to using it.