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Steph Learns about ceramics

MAy 15, 2013

By Austin Bublitz, Adam Meyer, Katie Johnson, and Hannah Gill

First, Steph needs to select the earthenware grey clay. Then he lays down the towel onto the table. He then places the clay right on the towel. Next, he wedges the clay. Wedging is when you take the palms of your hands and repeatedly press down on the clay, just like you're kneading dough.

After Steph wedges the clay, he should then roll the clay into a slab. Rolling the clay requires a rolling pin. Roll the clay to the thickness that is wanted.

Steph should then cut a base out of his slab material. Steph can use a shape as the base and just cut around it.

Steph now wants to make a coil for his pot. A coil is a long strip of clay. This can be made by putting hands forward and backward repeatedly until the coil is at the size that Steph wants.

To make the pot, Steph must use slip to make the coils stay together. Slip is the watered down clay, so it is kind of slippery. It is used like a glue to keep clay together. Scoring is the next step. Scoring is when you take a fork, or another tool and scrape it on the part of the clay that you are going to stick to another piece of clay.

Next step for Steph is to knit the clay together. Knitting is when you take a clay tool and go in a forward and backward motion to connect the two pieces of clay.

Smoothing is the next step for Steph. Smoothing is when you take a tool or your finger and make the walls of the knitted area nice and smooth.

Steph needs to roll out the coils he wants for his project. A horizontal coil is a regular rolled out coil.

The next type of coil that Steph can use is the vertical coil. A vertical coil is the type of coil that runs up and down on a project.

Steph could also make a spiral coil. A spiral coil is a type of coil  that is first rolled out straight then rolled up to look like a spiral.

Next, Steph can add what is called additive detail. Additive detail is clay that is added to the project by scoring slipping and knitting.

Negative detail is also something Steph can do. Negative detail is when you use a clay tool to take away clay that you don't want by going straight through the project.

Leatherhard is the stage when the clay is still a tad moist but isn't completely dried out.

Greenware is the stage when the project has been created but hasn't gone through the kiln yet.

The project is bisque fired then called bisqueware after it comes out of the kiln. If you want to smooth out the project, just sand it using a piece of sandpaper. Steph must also rinse the project in the sink before starting the glazing process.

Steph can then glaze his project. Glazing is using a special kind of paint to make the project nice and colorful.

After Steph is done glazing his project, it goes through the kiln. The kiln is the machine the projects go into to be fired. When they come out of the kiln, the project is called glazeware.

Steph's project can either be functional or decorative. Functional means it can be used for something. Decorative means it just sits there and looks pretty.