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Definitions


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TO BECOME HARD AND GLASS LIKE, CLAY MUST BE FIRED.
THIS MEANS THAT IT MUST BE BAKED IN A SPECIAL FURNACE, CALLED A KILN, TO A MINIMUM TEMPERATURE OF ABOUT 1112° F.

A kiln temperature can be measured in three ways:

KILN PEEPHOLE

The color of the kiln atmosphere.
We look through the peepholes in the wall of the kiln and simply note the color inside.
The atmosphere in the kiln glows red at about 932° F, then turns orange to yellow to white as it gets hotter.
By 2372° F the atmosphere is white hot and damaging to the naked eye.

PYROMETER

This is a thermometer capable of registering high temperatures.

CONES

Cones are the most accurate method because they measure the effects temperature has on the clay over time, the working temperature.
Often clays and glazes are referred to by the Cone number to which they are best fired, such as, a Cone 9 glaze or a Cone 8 porcelain, and so forth.
The Cones themselves are small pieces of specially formulated clay which begin to melt at specific temperatures.
They are placed inside the kiln so that they can be seen when one looks through the peepholes while the kiln is being fired.
When the Cone begins to melt and bend over we know that the specific temperature has been reached.



WHAT HAPPENS AS CLAYS AND GLAZES ARE FIRED


212° F

Water boils.

212 to 392° F


Pottery and Ceramic Firing Chart


Clays loses water.

392° F

Typical kitchen oven baking temperature.

705° F

Chemically combined water leaves clay.

932° F

Red glow in kiln.

1063° F

Quartz inversion

SLOW, CAREFUL FIRING UNTIL

1112° F

1472° F

Cone 015
Organic matter in clay burns out.

1472 to 1832° F

Cone 015 to Cone 07
Orange color in kiln.
Low fire earthenwares and lowfire lead glazes mature.
Normal firing temperature for red bricks and terra cotta pots.

1832 to 2120° F

Cone 07 to1
Yellow color in kiln.
High fire earthenwares mature.
Feldspars begin to melt.

2138 to 2174° F

Cone 3 to 4
Bright yellow white color in kiln.
Mid-range clays and low fire stonewares mature.
High iron content clays begin to melt.

2282 to 2345° F

Cone 7 to 9
White color in kiln.
Stoneware clays vitrify, feldspathic glazes mature.

2345 to 2462° F

Cone 9 to 13
High fire stonewares, porcelains vitrify.

MOST STUDIO POTTERY IS FIRED TO CONE 9 OR LOWER.

3113°

Silica melts

3722°

Alumina melts

If you are all wrapped up in yourself, you are overdressed.



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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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