Clays

CLAYS

There are many kinds and colours of clays. Most are categorized into the following groups:

Earthenware

  • Historically, it is the most-used clay body, since most local clays are earthenware
  • It reaches maturity at a low firing range, between 950° C and 1,150° C
  • The body is generally porous when fired, while the colour can vary from terra cotta to white
  • Examples: Barbara Balfour, Ken Chernavitch
  • Earthenware can also be Raku fired, which is a very immediate process using post-firing reduction, resulting in a blackened clay body with metallic-looking glazes

Stoneware

  • When fired, this clay resembles stone
  • Its firing range is between 1,150° C and 1,300° C, making it hard, durable and impervious to liquids
  • It is generally light grey to brown in colour due to its high iron content
  • Examples: Mid temperature range: Anne Fallis Elliott
  • High temperature range: Alan Lacovetsky, Steve Jorgenson, Andrew Thomson, Colleen Chamberlin, Jennifer Johnson

Porcelain

  • This clay is known for its whiteness
  • It is fired very hot, between 1,250° C and 1,400° C
  • When fired, it is a very dense and impervious body that approaches glass
  • Examples: Mid temperature range: Barbara Balfour, Merilyn Kraut, Judy Marchand, Rachael Kroeker
  • High temperature range: Kathryne Koop, Valerie Metcalfe, Kevin Stafford, Andrew Thomson, Alan Lacovetsky