When it comes to crafting 3D works of art, there are a variety of techniques used to shape and form clay pieces in Omaha, Nebraska. From repairing broken, cracked, chipped, or missing pieces of pottery, porcelain, sculptures and figures, to the simplest technique for making clay pots and sculptures - the clay coil - there are many methods to choose from. The clay coil technique involves winding and constructing a spiral shape with the coil and adding it layer by layer until the desired height and wall profile are achieved. This is an ideal technique for beginners as it teaches a lot about what clay can and won't do when wet.
Another popular method is extrusion. This involves using a tool with a plunger that pushes wet clay through a tube and expels it through a die at the end of the tube. This compresses the clay into a shape determined by the die. Unbaked porcelain clay can range from white to cream in color, while Chinese porcelain clay is usually white.
Unprocessed raw clay consists of particles of undecomposed clay and feldspar, generally combined with quartz, mica, iron oxides, and other materials. One example is Meissen porcelain which was the first true version of the Chinese type produced in Europe. It was discovered in late 1707 by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus & Johann Friedrich Böttger and production began at the Meissen factory in 1710. Ceramic tiles have been found in Indian and Mesopotamian architecture since as early as 14,000 BC. They were constructed with clay slabs and used together with rolled pots and pieces of clay to create intricate decorative arts.
Slip-casting is different from other ceramic techniques as it works with liquid clay instead of solid clay. To make a uniform coil of clay, squeeze a piece of clay into the shape of a sausage and then start rolling it with your fingers. If you find that your clay coil is becoming lumpy, flattened, or uneven, check out my article and video on how to make an even clay coil. The molding technique involves pouring the clay into the mold and allowing it to sit for a while so that the mold can absorb some of the water in the clay. This causes a thin layer of stiffer clay to take the shape of the mold.
The slab technique involves placing two wooden slats as thick as you want the clay slab to be on either side of the clay. Stoneware clays are used in commercial items but are also preferred by artists due to their unique translucency when combined with glass (known as “soft” porcelain). The formula for true or hard type Chinese porcelain was not discovered until the 18th century in Meissen and Dresden (Germany).