Chapter 5 Of Ceramics : A Potter 's Handbook Covers Clay Essay

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Chapter 5 of Ceramics: A Potter’s Handbook covers clay in the studio, stating that, “clay is the basis of everything that the potter makes, yet seldom do we use clay straight from the ground.” This statement sets the reader up for the contents of the chapter, such as clay bodies and preparing clay to be used in the studio. Clay bodies that are perfect for the potter rarely comes ready made from the earth. Though it lacks the ready-made quality, it can be added to get a clay body that is just right for each project. Grog, crushed, fired clay, is added to add porosity to the clay, allowing it to dry uniformly. A clay that is extremely fine, or fat, has grog added to it. A clay can lack fluxes, which allow it to be fired at certain temperatures, but can be added through materials such as feldspar or talc. Properties of clay bodies include plasticity, porosity, and shrinkage. The plasticity can be determined by wrapping a coil of the clay body around the potter’s finger, in which the clay will crack or bend, determining the plasticity. If the clay cracks too much during this process, it can mean that the clay is not suitable for working with. When working with clay, it is important to wedge, which means to knead the clay until the air bubbles are out. This helps align the hexagonal plates within the clay body, aiding in future firing. Porosity is directly related to the hardness and vitrification of the clay when fired. If the clay is vitrified it lacks porosity, holes. To…

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