Air-dry clay is a wonderful medium to work with. It acts much like potters clay but doesn’t require firing to be hardened. The one major issue with air-dry is that it is very sensitive to moister even after it has hardened. If you want your work to have any permanents, you will need to seal […]
So, you’re looking into clay and want to know what it is and how to use it? Let me explain how exciting your new interest is!
What is Clay?
Rocks containing minerals (feldspar) get broken down by weathering and erosion over time and become clay. When wet, the clay will develop plasticity and will then become hard when drying.
Pure clays are light in color, while more natural clays are red or brown because of iron oxide traces. These colors show in the clay because of their impurities.
Fun Fact. The earliest known pottery was discovered more than 18,000 years ago, mostly in Japan and China! Historians believe that they used clay found on the riverbanks to line baskets to carry water.
The three main types of clay are earthenware, stoneware, and kaolin. We use two secondary clays to add to the primary clay to enhance its elasticity – ball clays and fire clays.
Earthenware is a highly common type of pottery today and one of the oldest known clays used by potters. They are very plastic, sticky, and come in a wide range of colors. These include: red, orange, white, grey. These colors get determined by how the clay is heated and the mineral impurities.
Stoneware is thick pottery and very durable. With its stone-like features, stoneware will make good mugs and jugs. When fired, the colors range from: light grey, medium grey, brown. Stoneware is non-porous and doesn’t absorb liquids well.
Kaolin clay is mostly kaolinite, also called white clay or china clay, and is often used for porcelain. Its color is usually light grey or white when moist. Although kaolin clay is difficult to work with, it can get mixed with other clays to make it more workable.
Kaolin gets mixed with a 20-30 percent water ratio; it will become plastic and placed in a mold, and put under pressure. Once the pressure gets removed, the shape will remain.
Kaolin clay has many uses outside of its use in producing china and porcelain. It can make: paper, paint, rubber.
Fun Fact. Kaolin clay is silky and soft in texture and is widely used for skin products like facial scrubs, body powder, and deodorizers!
Pottery as an Art
Learning the different types of clay and how they mold gives you insight into where to begin your pottery adventure. Start with earthenware or stoneware because they are easier to handle.
Get comfortable using your hands, and then move on to a pottery wheel. You will soon learn how therapeutic the process of making your creation is.
Pottery is never dull. There is always plenty to learn and explore when molding your creations. If you are new to pottery, you will discover many lessons, just as we do in life. Molding your art is like your journey through life – you will make many mistakes and learn from them, and a piece will never be perfect.
When you’re thinking about getting into pottery, a healthy knowledge of clay and the different types out there can be incredibly beneficial to your project. The type of clay you buy and begin to work with will determine what your end project will look like. This article will go through the different things you should […]
Modeling clay provides a wonderful path to sensory play for younger kids. It also helps them develop their fine motor skills and gain perspective on the world. For older children, it helps to spark their creativity and teaches patients, perseverance, and the joy of self-expression. Perhaps that is why so many of us never really outgrow […]
Are you wanting to preserve your little one’s hand and footprints as a keepsake? If you are then you are reading the right article. In this article, we will list our favorite clays for making handprint and footprint impressions in clay. We will also offer some tips on what to look for in clay, and […]
Do you have broken pottery or ceramic pieces that need repairing? Have you wondered what the best glues are for repairing ceramics and pottery? If you have then keep reading. In this article, we will explain our top choices in adhesives for repairing pottery and ceramics, explain what you should look for when shopping for […]
Polymer clay is one of the most popular types of clay art forms. It’s accessible, simple to use, and a lot of fun! It comes in a wide range of attractive colours that appeals to both children and adults. Moulding your polymer clay is very easy and enjoyable, but baking it is where many problems […]
Whether you are crafting pottery or just want to dress up your terra cotta planters, the first question you need to ask is what is the best paint to use. We once wondered the same thing and did quite a bit of research on the subject. To save you the time and trouble that we […]
If you’re interested in pottery and you want to get started in the world of clay, but you can’t afford a throwing wheel, nor do you know where to get your hands on one, then hand-building is just for you. With hand-building, you don’t need much. If you’re a novice and you don’t want to […]
Are you new to crafting with polymer clay and want to start out doing it right, or are an experienced clay worker that is tired of sore arms from rolling with a pin. In either case, a pasta machine is an ideal addition to your clay arsenal. Got no time to read? Here are our […]
If you are a novice new to making jewelry from polymer clay or an experienced craftsman not completely satisfied with the results they are getting, this article is for you. One of the hottest crafting trends around right now is creating jewelry from polymer clay. It is fairly easy to learn but, with practice, can […]
Air-dry clay behaves almost exactly like other pottery clay and is worked very similarly. This makes it ideal for experienced artisans to perfect their skills and novices to gain experience without the expense of firing works in a kiln. Add in the fact that most are non-toxic and safe for kids to play with, and […]
In this article, we’ll explain exactly how to prep and paint your clay creation. Although it’s the easiest type of clay to use, it does come with a lot of rules. If you want to know the best way to paint it so that your project turns out wonderfully on the first try, read on. […]
Air-Dry clay can be difficult to work with if you’re not used to it. One of the biggest issues that people face is that their air dry clay cracks on them. If you’re interested in learning how to prevent your air dry clay from cracking then you’re in the right place. Read on to find […]
Air-dry clay is a perfect step into the pottery medium for so many reasons. It’s easy to come across, affordable, simple to use, and it doesn’t require additional materials to harden it. If you want to add some colour to it and make your clay journey more exciting, then read on. 4 Tips Before You […]
Experimenting with air-dry clay is great for people dipping their toes into pottery and clay making. It’s an affordable hobby that doesn’t take up too much energy or require much attention. The issue, though, is that the costs of using air-dry clay can add up. If it’s not stored correctly, it can dry up fast, […]
One of the cheapest options available, air-dry clay, can be used to create a wide variety of projects ranging from earrings to sculptures. It is non-toxic, making it safe for children to play with, and best of all, since it is air-dry, no kiln or oven is required. Most objects created from air-dry clay will […]
From experienced artists looking to improve their skills to novices looking for a way to express themselves, air-dry clay is growing in popularity. It is relatively easy to work with, doesn’t require an oven or kiln, and is very inexpensive. Like entering any new field, though, it never hurts to get a few tips from […]
Air-dry clay is a wonderful way for beginners to gain experience with different sculpting techniques. At the same time, experienced artists can perfect their skills without the expense of firing their works. In this article, we will explore the factors that affect how long air-dry clay takes to harden, and answer a few of people’s […]
Ashtrays are commonly a beginner’s first project working with clay. They are simple in design, but to get good results, basic techniques must be performed properly. If you are new to pottery or experienced and just want to brush up on your skills, an ashtray is a wonderful item to create. You may be wondering, […]
Air-dry clay is very different from potter’s clay or polymer-based clays. Many people think of it as a beginner’s clay or something for kids to play with. In fact, many professional artists enjoy working with air-dry clays for their simplicity and a change of pace. Surprisingly, for such a common item, there isn’t as much […]
Stop-motion animation films with clay models started in 1908 and have been wowing audiences ever since. Even in this age of computer graphics, claymation, as it is often called, remains a well-respected art form. But, have you ever wondered what types of clay stop motion animators use on a daily basis. When the modelers who […]
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