Pottery Glossary

If you’re new in pottery, you may find all the terms a little bit confusing. So here is the list of basic pottery and ceramic terms that you need to know


Absorbency: The ability of a material to soak up water.

Ark: Large storage tank or container, e.g. Glaze Ark, Slip Ark, etc.


Bat: Or "batt”, is a thin slab of wood, plaster, or plastic used to support pottery forms during throwing.

Bisque: This term also known as bisc, biscuit, and bisqueware. Refers to the pottery piece that has fired once but not yet glazed.

Body Stain: Colourant used to colour clay body.

Bone-dry: The final stage of greenware dried to a completely dry state and ready to be fired.

Burnishing: A process by which leatherhard or blackhard clay is made smooth by rubbing it with a hard smooth object like a stone, spoon or piece of glass. This procedure gives the piece a polished look.


Casting / Slip casting: Casting or slip casting is a ceramic forming technique for shapes not easily made on a wheel. In slip casting, a liquid clay body slip is poured into plaster moulds and allowed to form a layer, the cast, on the inside walls of the mould.

Ceramic: Derived from the Greek ‘Keramos’ meaning ‘earthen vessel’. Today it applies to a whole range of products, i.e. bricks, tiles, pipes, porcelain, china, pottery, etc.

Cheesehard: The first stage in the drying process of a piece of pottery where it is still soft.

Clay: It is the material used to form the body of a piece of pottery. Contains of chemicals and minerals.