Pottery 101: Everything You Need To Know

Updated: Aug 26, 2020

Before beginning to work with clay, it helps to have a basic understanding of its properties, the types of clay available, and basic forming techniques which all comes with the terms around it. Hopefully this article will help you get started with pottery.

In Greek, the word Ceramic is ‘Keramos’, which means ‘potter’ or ‘pottery’. It is the creation of functional and/or beautiful forms through the manipulation of clay minerals, which undergoes rigid processes with the application of various heating processes. There are three main types of clay:

1) earthenware

2) stoneware

3) porcelaine

In our studio we commonly use stoneware because of its color and durability. Here are the 5 phases of pottery:

1. Wet Clay

Source: https://highwaterclays.com/collections/wet-clay?page=2

Clay is the product of the breakdown of the earth’s rocky surface (primarily feldspar rock) through the actions of wind, water and temperature. Meanwhile clay bodies are blends of clay minerals and elements that produce specific results when manipulated and treated in various ways, which is what you will be using to make ceramics.

These custom blends of minerals can be tailored to produce a wide range of colors, textures, strength and temperature ranges. After you have your blocks of wet clay, you can start creating your desired form with several techniques: