Thursday, November 21, 2019


Where does clay come from?

The ground of course!
Clay comes from rocks that have been broken down by weather and turned into tiny particles. Clay can be found at the subsoil level of the ground which is between bedrock and topsoil. If you dig in your yard with a shovel and remove the top soil you can reach the clay layer. The clay will be either white, gray, tan or red in color and will have a sleek texture feel to it. 

Primary clay is clay that is found close to where it was formed in nature. Primary clays are often white or gray in color. 

Secondary clay is clay that is found far from where it was formed in nature, as the secondary clay traveled by wind and water often picks up other minerals on its journey. Secondary clays are often tan or terra cotta colored. Secondary clays are often more plastic than primary clays.

Earthenware Clay
Terra-cotta is the most commonly found clay in nature. It can be easily molded. It needs to air dry to a bone dry state and be fired in a kiln to become durable. It can be painted or glazed and made into ceramics. 

Porcelain Clay
This is the whitest of all natural clays. If fired hot enough, it will develop a translucent quality.

Stoneware clays are named this because when fired they have the characteristics of stone, which is a hard and dense service. This is the most used clay body by professional potters that create ceramic pieces. 

Written by: Art Teacher Ruth Post

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