The primary component of pottery clay is clay, but it also contains other elements. Stoneware is used to make pottery for items such as plates, vases, or other items. Porcelain is made from kaolin clay, often known as white clay, and it is also known as China clay.
Furthermore, rough material clay can be broadly characterized as comprised of 40% aluminum oxide, 46% silicon oxide, and 14% water. In addition, the main mineral is kaolinite. Besides, clay comes in two varieties, main and secondary. The number of metal oxides, organic matter, and water differ based on the kind of pottery clay.
In addition, the particle and phyllosilicate mineral composition will be in numerous forms of clay change. Furthermore, in this article, you learn more about that what stages can be done in producing clay. There are different Earth regions where clay can be found where rivers or streams once flowed.
The components of pottery clay are a mixture of different minerals, organic components, and organic compounds that combine to produce a usable substance. In addition, very small, easily moldable, but strong particles or flakes make pottery clay, and the clay particles are flat and broad in form. Hence, except for sand particles, they are invisible to the naked eye.
If you want to see clay particles, then you use a microscope to see the clay particles, and their size is 0.002mm or less, and they range from 0.002 to 0.05mm. Besides, various clay types are available due to different minerals and natural resources. Water is another crucial ingredient in clay, and clay particles are attached when they become wet. Furthermore, if the clay is moist, then you can form the clay in any shape.
How the Earth produces Clay
The Earth also produces Clay depending on the region; there are different kinds of Clay and the environment where it is collected. Various varieties of pottery clay are used, such as Earthen or stoneware and porcelain, which is also said to be ceramic used to make pottery.
The stones on the Earth condition to produce tiny particles, and the weathering happens because of climate condition that changes and chemicals like carbonic acid. Moreover, the silicate rocks ultimately decompose to produce sediments, which slowly assemble to produce clay particles.
A portion of the clay will remains where it is formed to keep its purity. Besides, the more the Clay is close to where it is formed, the more it is pure. So, the Clay is pale in color, thick and dense. In addition, all soil components, including minerals, living things, and animals, go into its clay creation.
The remains of plants, animals, and minerals are gradually broken up by water pressure and reduced to tiny particles. Furthermore, silicate-containing rocks gradually delay to the point that sediment is formed. After then, the sediments combine to form clay particles.
How is the Clay Manufactured?
In this production stage, the Clay is collected from the Earth’s surface mud, and gravel is dug up to 24 meters. In addition, fresh Clay has a moisture level of 22% when it is unearthed. When the Clay is collected, it is in big pieces, then broken down into small pieces.
Then the Clay is placed into the structure without boundaries so that the air partly dries it. Furthermore, then Clay is examined for color and texture to divide it into many categories. To achieve accurate findings, the chemical analysis is formed after every few loads, and at this stage, Clay can be categorized by its function.
Then the Clay is moved into a rotating tank where large clay clusters are divided into small clusters. Hence, the Clay is heated into a furnace where the moisture level is reduced to 1 to 2% by heat and dries Clay into fine powder.
The various Clay is ground up into a powder, and imperfections, both physical and chemical, are removed in the purification process. Furthermore, the Clay is now clean, dried, and ground and tests are conducted to check that Clay has the right color. Once the clay purity is established, it is packed and delivered to pottery distributors.
Types of Pottery Clay
There are different kinds of clay, and everyone differs from another due to its distinct chemical and physical properties. In addition, formulation, processability, density, and firing temperature are a few. Different types of clay include different water concentrations, organic content, and metal oxides. These variations in the components determine their properties. A few are the different kinds of clay are given below:
- Bone China
Earthenware is commonly used in pottery; this clay has iron and other mineral impurities that cause its maturation temperature. Besides, this type of clay occurs naturally.
Kaoline is the purest kind of clay, and it is high in silica. In addition, this clay does not contain any impurities, and this clay is light in color as white.
This clay is famous for its durability and fluidity, and this clay is made up of ball clay because sand and grog are added to it, and its texture is smooth.
The porcelain has butter-like smoothness, and it is difficult to deal with when making an item because it is less elastic and is utilized in slip casting.
This clay is creamy white, turning it into completely white when you burn it. Bone China is a soft and smooth texture. It is utilized to make decorative items.
As above, you see the clay types and understand the characteristics. In addition, pottery clay is made when it moves through different manufacturing stages. In stage one, it is collected from the Earth’s surface; it is big. Besides, the clay is divided into small pieces in an open place with no border; then the texture is tested, and the clay is, then a chemical analysis test is done, and in the next stage is a rotating tank where it is crushed into small pieces. It is moved through the heating furnace to make it dry, in which most of the clay is ground up into a powder. Furthermore, the clay purity test checks the color and is packed to give to pottery suppliers.
Hi, my name is Stefanie and I am a potter from USA. Clay has given me the opportunity to be creative and personalize everyday objects like cups, bowls, plates, and more.
I love working with clay because it’s so malleable. You can make anything you want out of it; there are no limits!