Thursday, March 5, 2009

Ceramics studio visit

The beginning stages of ceramic pottery : clay from the bag to prep work for the wheel.

Addition of water in order to manipulate the clay on the wheel. Not exactly a change of state but perhaps a change in material properties as the clay absorbs the water.

Leftover clay pieces are discarded in a bin with water to be recycled.

Above: Bisque pieces; bisque meaning that the clay pieces have been fired in the kiln and are now ready for the application of glazing paint.

Glazing powders - classified by their chemical names. Perhaps there is the addition of other chemicals to create the glazing liquid...

A sample wall of glazed clay pieces that shows the color and sheen of the glazing after the clay piece has been fired for the second time.

A final piece.

The process of ceramics is about stages of phase transformation of the initial material (clay). Through the addition of water, the clay can be manipulated to any shape and forms . Then a minor subtraction of the water through air-drying, only to be sent through an intense firing process that pulls out all the water inside the clay, creating new bonds to harden the clay. I am curious about the process of glazing - how exactly does that glazed paint affix itself to the bisque clay, why is it necessary to send the entire artifact back into the kiln - how does this differ from other color-application process? How does this chemical reaction/process affect the design process/experimentation of the ceramic artist? questions questions...

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