Unfired clay

unfired clay
Unfired clay plate

What is unfired clay?

Unfired clay is called Greenware. Clay contains moisture. It actually contains water in a sufficient amount so that the clay is soft and malleable. It's at this stage that the clay can easily be formed into different shapes. The clay bodies are in a plastic like form due to the moisture content.

The clay plate above was formed into it's final shape and is now almost ready for the first firing in the kiln. The clay used above in the picture contained enough moisture so that it could be formed by hand. In addition, decorative patterns were embossed into the clay. Once fired the clay will no longer have sufficient moisture to be shaped.

The clay will sit and naturally dry out till it has about 15% moisture content. This state is called Leather-hard.

When the clay plate reaches a moisture content at or near 0% it is ready to be fired.

The clay plate above will be painted and then fired in a kiln up to about 2,000 degrees. If it survives and does not break or crack it will then take if final form as all or nearly all moisture will have been removed.

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