Stages of Clay

 Clay Table: Clay & Modelling Media at a Glance

 Tips: The Stages of Clay

Slip
Slip is used to join clay. Making Slip: Dried clay is crushed and mixed with water – mix to a custard consistency. Keep in airtight container. Decorative slips can also be used to colour clay during a bisque fire.
Stage One: Malleable
The stage where you can build artwork. Wrap leftover clay in a clean, damp cloth/wipe (pg 272) and put in an airtight plastic bag.
Stage Two: Leather Hard
Clay has started to dry out but you can still carve into the artwork. This is also the stage to burnish pieces (smooth them out). Wrap leftover clay in a clean, damp cloth/wipe (pg 272) and put in an airtight plastic bag.
Stage Three: Bone Dry
Bone dry means that the piece is fully dried out and it is ready to go in the kiln. It is best to slowly dry out the clay to prevent cracking.
Stage Four: Bisque Fired
This is the first firing. The clay can now be decorated with an underglaze or brush on glaze. Alternatively, bisque fired clay can be painted with acrylic paint or Clay Tissue Transfer can also be applied.
Stage Five: Glaze Fired
This is the last firing that must be done at a higher temperature (see instructions). Make sure there is no glaze on the bottom of your piece as it may join to the kiln shelf.

NB: Please refer to specific Material Safety Data Sheets for safety and handling requirements.


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