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Art I. “Some of the oldest messages left by man of his existence on this earth are the writings he left on cave walls and the shards of the ceramic tools.

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Presentation on theme: "Art I. “Some of the oldest messages left by man of his existence on this earth are the writings he left on cave walls and the shards of the ceramic tools."— Presentation transcript:

1 Art I

2 “Some of the oldest messages left by man of his existence on this earth are the writings he left on cave walls and the shards of the ceramic tools he used in everyday life. It would seem that the knowledge of making things out of hardened clay was not confined to any one continent or area of our world but is fairly well known to every race and culture that ever existed.” ~Don Francois Roban

3 What is Clay? Clay is......a fine mixture of decomposed igneous rock minerals and organic matter Clay is continuously being formed

4 Over time, exposure to the elements cause the materials to break down into smaller and smaller pieces Boulders Rocks Pebbles Fine grain materials that make up clay

5 What is Ceramics? Objects made from any type of clay that is fired with the aid of heat

6 History of Ceramics It is hypothesized that ceramics came about when humans 1 st learned to control fire Old methods and concepts are still used today

7 Historical Ceramic Origins Anthropologists use Stone Age clues to piece together a variety of possible theories of ceramic’s origin

8 Storage Vessels: Greece 1600 B.C Some jars as tall as 6 ft Created using the coil method

9 Cuniform Script Early system of writing in Mesopotamia Stylus pressed into clay tablets Record-keeping of laws, historical events, & harvests Early Forms of Communication and Documentation :

10 Hunting Scene 2250-2150 BCE, Mesopotamia Form of signature, or identification on important documents Cylinder Seal

11 Mystical & Religious Purposes Pots were widely used as funerary objects in prehistoric burial grounds Contained food to accompany dead on journey to the afterlife Infants and small children Ceramic figurines and animals to protect the deceased.

12 Terracotta Warriors Form of funerary art - buried with the First Emperor of Qin (He first emperor of China in 221 BCE.) Their purpose was to help him rule in the afterlife. Architects are currently still excavating

13 Hand Building : Process of forming pieces using YOUR hands without the use of a potter’s wheel; 30,000 years old

14 Early Methods of Forming Clay The earliest and simplest methods are still used today: Three Basic Hand Building Techniques: 1.Pinch Method (oldest method) 2.Coil Method 3.Slab Method

15 Pinch Method Is when clay is pulled and pinched in order to shape an object with fingers It is the oldest form of ceramic hand building

16 Pinch Pot

17 Pinch Method:

18 Two Pinch Pots can be combined to create a hollow form:

19 Coil Method Is when long ropes/coils of clay that are of equal thicknesses are used to build a ceramic object

20 Coil


22 Slab Method Is a method of rolling out clay flat to an equal thickness Slabs can be cut into shapes and used to construct ceramic objects

23 Slab Method




27 Potter’s Wheel : a machine that forms pottery using a wheel


29 1.Slip: Liquid clay; the “glue” required to attach two pieces of clay together 2.Wet/Soft: Plastic clay; workable; easily manipulated ** IDEAL stage to work with clay 6 Stages of Clay:

30 6 Stages of Clay Continued…………. 3. Leather Hard: Clay is stiff but still damp; firm -maintains form and can be smoothed, carved, and added to; *not easily distorted

31 6 Stages of Clay Continued…….. 4. Bone-dry (Greenware): Water has evaporated from the clay; form is brittle and ready to be fired ** Clay becomes lighter in color

32 6 Stages of Clay Continued………. 5.Bisque: fired once; ready to be glazed then fired a second time 6. Glazeware: objects that have been fired a second time after glaze has been applied

33 Clay may be recycled through the GREENWARE stage. Recycling Clay! **Once clay has been fired it becomes permanent – it can no longer be recycled

34 The Kiln: Chamber for firing your clay Clay MUST be Bone Dry to fire You must fire your clay for it to become permanent

35 Kiln A kiln can reach temperatures of 2,500 degrees F. and higher Your oven at home possibly reaches 500 at the most

36 The Kiln

37 8-12 hours to heat to maximum temperature + 8-12 hours to cool 16-24 hours for firing cycle

38 Glaze: A coating of liquid glass that is applied to a clay surface that melts together and forms a decorative and protective surface

39 Glaze also makes your ceramic piece: Colorful Food Safe (check glaze label) Water Proof


41 Wedging: Process of slamming, kneading, or pushing clay

42 1.Removes air bubbles trapped in the clay 2.Equalizes moisture 3.Makes clay texture uniform 4.Re –forms smaller pieces into one big one ** You MUST always wedge first BEFORE using your clay.

43 Plasticity: Workability; Is the quality of clay that allows it to be easily manipulated and still maintain its shape Ideal texture for clay = play dough

44 The ability to hold together while being shaped (workability) ? Does it stretch and bend without breaking? ? Test It! Wrap a coil around your finger. If it cracks, the clay is not plastic. Plastic Not Plastic Create the Coil

45 All clay contains water. Clay dehydrates when exposed to air. Add water to clay to make it more plastic. Too little or too much water causes clay to become less plastic. Tip: Mist clay with damp sponge. ALWAYS wrap your projects with plastic before storing. Moisture

46 Score: Means the process of roughing up the edges of clay with a tool in order to join two pieces of clay together You must always: “score, slip, and press” when joining any two pieces of clay together

47 Functional = pottery that serves a purpose or does a job. Ex. = dishes, vases, bowls, cups plates, or lidded container

48 Aesthetics: The visual beauty or pleasurable qualities of an object

49 Sculpture in the Round: a free standing sculpture that is meant to be seen from all sides Chris Gustin

50 Incising –carving or cutting into the clay surface with a tool

51 Important Tips for a Successful Ceramic Piece: 1.Always WEDGE clay first ! 2.Score, slip, and press each and every time you join two pieces of clay together 3.Clay should be no thicker than the tip of your thumb (.5 to.75 inches) 4.Always cover clay fully with plastic bag so it won’t dry out

52 Clay Policies: No clay should be thrown at anytime! – You will be assigned book work, loose clay privileges, and I will be calling home! THIS IS YOUR WARNING - IT WILL BE ENFORCED!!

53 NO ONE should be wandering around the classroom at any time during the class period with clay – you need to be working in YOUR area I will instruct you when it is time to clean up – if you decide to clean up early you will lose points! Clay Policies

54 Clean UP! Please make sure that you are putting supplies away in the correct location and also cleaning up after yourself No clay should be thrown away – moisten and put in your bag to reuse! I will be checking each table for clean up All students helping others to clean up!

55 You will be receiving a 100 Point clean up grade: You will LOOSE points if: – Table top/floor area is dirty – Clay crumbs – Supplies are not put away properly; tools are dirty/messy, etc. You have an assigned seat so………….I know where you SIT!! CLEAN UP AFTER YOURSELF !!

56 Please sign the clay policy student agreement sheet: You are signing that you are aware of the rules and consequences for NOT following them as we begin our unit on ceramics Clay is a PRIVLEDGE !!!

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