If the San Francisco ceramics boom has you curious about experimenting with clay, here’s a directory of the city’s studios, along with a quickie glossary to help you get started.
- Bisqueware: A clay piece that has been fired once to a (relatively) low temperature.
- Cone (or ∆): Clay and glazes will react differently depending on the temperature inside a kiln; cones are a standardized measure of heat for firings.
- Clay body: There are many types of clay, and each has different characteristics like color—from white porcelain to black cassius basaltic—composition, and plasticity.
- Firing: Exposing clay to extreme heat in a kiln. Ceramic pieces require two firings.
- Glaze: A liquid that transforms into a hard, glass-like surface when fired in a kiln. Every glaze is composed of silica, alumina, and flux.
- Greenware: A clay piece that is unfired.
- Handbuilding: The name sounds pretty self-explanatory—building with your hands—but includes techniques like coil building, pinch pots, hard- and soft-slab, and more.
- Kiln: A custom oven for firing clay (greenware and bisqueware).
- Throwing: The act of using a wheel to shape clay.
- Wheel: A machine that features a flat, spinning disc; it’s used to create symmetrical vessels and ceramic pieces.
Following are a list of clay studios in the city you should check out.Read More