Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi




Terracotta is red-brown clay that has been fired. It is the most common clay, found in the earth throughout the world. It can be molded, cast and turned on the wheel and used to make bricks, tiles, flower pots and many objects, both industrial and decorative. It is cheap, easy to work with; it is formed into a required shape, left to dry and then fired at between 800º C and 1050º C. When fired it turns into a material that is solid and breakable but still porous. It is not waterproof, water can dampen and pass through it but without altering its structure and when fired it is also known as bisque. To make it waterproof, it must be covered with a layer of glaze and fired again, the glaze vitrifies and acts as a thin layer of glass and makes it non-absorbent. Read more about: Bisque