Glossery of Terms

3-D Shapes: cube, cylinder, sphere, pyramid, cone, rectangular prism

Bisque Firing:  The first firing process clay goes through, which changes the clay into ceramic.

Ceramic:  Articles produced by the firing of clay, at very high temperatures

Ceramic Sculpture:  Refers to creating non-functional pieces in clay

Clay:  A very fine-grained soil that is plastic when moist but hard when fired

Clay Tools:  Any tool that scores, cuts, marks, presses or manipulates the clay

Coils:  A process of building by rolling out long pieces of clay in the the shape of snakes

Glaze:  A material that is applied over a ceramic product and then fired to produce a hard, vitreous, glassy surface that will color, decorate, strengthen and/or waterproof it.

Glaze Firing: The second firing process clay goes through, usually to fuse glaze to the surface of the clay.

Hand-Built:  A process of building with clay only using the hands such as pinch pots, coils or slabs

Kanthal Wire:  a high temperature wire that can withstand the heat of the kiln process

Kiln:  A kiln is a very hot oven used to bake and harden materials such as clay and bricks.  It can be fueled by gas, electricity or wood. 

Pinch Pots:  A way of building by squeezing or pinching the clay into the shape of a pot or bowl, two of these attached together can be used to create hollow shapes

Pottery:  Usually refers to creating functional pieces in clay such as vases, bowls, plates etc...

Scratch-to-Attach: A method of attaching two pieces of clay together successfully, done by scoring both pieces of clay to create a rough surface that will stay attached to each other when pressed together. 

Slab Building:  A process of building with flat pieces of clay

Wheel Throwing:  A process of building pottery by using a spinning wheel to help shape the pot or bowl

Wire Gauge: the thickness of a piece of wire is measured by its gauge