Getting into the ceramic industry, whether as a profession or a pastime, requires a certain amount of preparation, along with lots of equipment. Clay tends to be the first starting point for beginners, and it can be difficult to choose the right kind of clay for your needs. Fortunately, there are some simple ways of learning which kind of clay is the best.
The Type of Pottery
The style of pottery you want to make determines the clay structure you pick. Certain clay bodies are good as throwing clays, but for an outdoor piece would be a nightmare as a hand-building clay. it’s important to first understand and know which kind of pottery you want to pursue.
As a kiln burns and cools down, temperature changes allow some profound changes to take place. The clay goes from this thin, delicate material to one that is rock-hard, impervious to air, heat, and time. The transition is almost magical in its full metamorphosis and could be considered if not so normal.
Both clay bodies and glazes must mature at the same temperature to avoid finished part defects. There are three simple temperature ranges (slight differences between potters). The temperature of maturation refers to a particular clay structure or glaze. Clay bodies contain some coal, organic materials and sulphur. About 572 F and 1470 F (300 C and 800 C). If for some reason — such as poor ventilation within the kiln — these can not burn off the clay skin, carbon coring will occur. It weakens the clay body considerably.
Mixing At Home or Buying a Clay Body
Consumer wet clays provide a very easy way to buy clay if you don’t have the equipment to blend it yourself. This is particularly true of clays that are treated using a de-airing pug wheel, which removes a lot of wedging within the clay. Self-mixing clay provides many advantages. The first is economic: humid clay weighs much more than dry clay, resulting in lower shipping costs, meaning you can keep the cash you’ve earned from the best payout pokies. The other advantage of making your own is you can use and change custom clay body recipes if desired.
One of the easiest ways to find clay for your needs is to experiment with different clay bodies. Try buying individual bags of several clay types that you’re searching for. Play with each clay, move it to its limits, and record thoughts and observations on paper. You can also build sample pieces like tiles, bells, or bowls and fire them on a regular firing plan. Examine how the clays behave and interact with the glazes you use.
Potters may use many items of machinery for their artistic process. The three most commonly employed are kilns, wheels and some machinery used to carry dried clay to a functional form. Although finished pottery can be produced entirely by hand, it takes tremendous effort and time. Having machines helps release your mind from what you most want to do: build with your clay. The three key pieces of potter machinery are drying, cutting, and burning. Whether you have access to any of these may influence the sort of clay you may use.