The material clay is a material that occurs naturally and is primarily composed of fine-grained minerals. The clay minerals, which are layer silicates, give the clay its plastic properties.
In addition, clay may contain other organic and inorganic materials that do not affect its plastic properties. These components may be, for example, quartz, calcite, field late, oxides, dolomite, colloidal silica or organic gels.
Other components of clay include water, which can be contained in different amounts. The water content also contributes to the plasticity of the clay, in the course of drying and burning the clay then hardens. However, artificially produced materials with clay properties and materials which mainly contain organic components are not included in the clays. It does not matter whether these materials are of natural origin and have the plastic properties of clay.
Clay is used as a material in different ways:
- Clay has been proven to have been used for a very long time as a raw material for pottery and ceramics. There are finds of figures that were created around 24,000 years before Christ.
- As one of the main components of clay, clay has been used as a building material for about 10,000 years, for example as clay plaster or in the form of clay bricks. In addition, clay is used, for example, to seal dikes or landfills against the subsoil. In addition, clay is found as a raw material in connection with the production of cement.
- In industry, clay is used in the production of pubis, which is then used as an interior lining of furnaces. In addition, clay is used as a filler in paper production. The clay softens and smooths the papers and gives them a smooth surface.
- Clay has been used for therapeutic purposes for thousands of years. Although the exact mechanisms of action are often not known, the healing effect is mainly attributed to the fine-grained layer silicates and their high adsorption capacity. These can release the nutrients that are bound to the mineral surfaces and at the same time bind toxins and neutralize them in this way.
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Clay In Pottery
Pottery is not only one of the very old and very important craftsmanship, but also a very popular hobby. In addition, pottery is used for educational and therapeutic purposes. For pottery, however, not every key is equally suitable, whereby the planned pottery work always plays a decisive role.
Clay is created by rock weathering. The sound that was washed out of the rock is called a secondary tone, while the clay that is applied in the parent rock is called primary tone. Secondary tone is finer than primary tone and therefore more suitable for pottery.
Among the most popular and commonly used secondary tons are Kaoline and the England-born Ball Clay and Fire Clay. Kaolines are clays that are made of clay and silica, are very heat resistant and take on a white color through the burning process. Ball Clay also turns white when burning, while Fire Clay becomes brownish.
The Main Steps Of Pottery
- The first step is always to knead and beat the clay. In this way, the sound becomes supple and air bubbles are removed. Removing the air bubbles is important because otherwise they could cause the clay object to burst during burning or cooling.
- Next, the sound is formed. Essentially, there are three basic techniques, namely plate technology, bead ingeging and turning. In plate technology, the clay is rolled out into even, thin plates, cut and assembled. In the case of bead technique, the sound is rolled to bulges, which are then layered on top of each other. In many cases, these two techniques are also combined, for example by working the bottom of a vessel from a clay plate and building the side walls out of bulges. When turning, a lump of clay is placed on a turntable and then formed with the hands and fingers.
- The next step is to structure the sound. This includes all works that are used to design the surface of the sound work. The patterns can be carved, applied with stamps and other aids, cut out or glued with small pieces of clay.
The finished shaped and textured clay must then dry. After drying, the workpiece can either be burned or glazed before the fire. A glaze gives the workpiece a smooth surface, becomes waterproof and can of course also be color-modified and designed.
The fire takes place depending on the key and workpiece of different lengths and at temperatures between 650 and 1400 degrees. After cooling, the clay object is basically ready.