A must-see for anyone who wants to enjoy pottery! What is the soil on which ceramics are based?

May 13, 2020


table of contents

  1. White clay
  2. Red soil
  3. Black soil
  4. Porcelain earth
  5. Half magnetic soil
  6. Pot soil
  7. Finally

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When I look at the pottery, I notice that there are so many different types of soil. Soil has different colors and textures depending on the composition. The coarser the particles, the rougher the look, and the finer the particles, the smoother the look. Also, the color tone changes depending on the amount of oxygen and temperature during firing, and the compatibility with the glaze used also differs. In other words, even if they are made with the same shape and the same glaze, the work produced by the soil will be completely different. Knowing the type of soil used in the work will make the pottery more interesting. This time, we will introduce the types and characteristics of the soil used in such pottery.

| White clay

・Easy to handle, wide range of applications

Clay is a clay that is mainly made from clay layers that can be obtained by digging the ground, and is the raw material for making pottery. White clay is one of the clay, and it has a grayish color before firing, but it is characterized by becoming whitish after firing. It is easy to handle regardless of the method used, and it is used for various purposes such as tableware and objects. Since the material is white, you can enjoy the color of the glaze itself by applying glaze, and the colors look great, making it a perfect container for painting or designing like a canvas. Oribe ware with a beautiful green glaze is best suited for white clay. There is also rough soil that contains stone grains in the soil called white rough soil. In addition, the clay does not contain much iron, and the color will not change significantly even if fired.

| Red soil

・Enjoy changes in facial expressions and depth of taste

Like white clay, it is used for making pottery. However, since the red soil contains iron, the color when baked will be reddish. The work is reddish brown, which is reminiscent of bricks, if it is oxidized and baked by giving enough oxygen. If reduction firing is performed by intentionally reducing the amount of oxygen and causing incomplete combustion, the soil's original color may appear and it may turn blackish red. There is also red rough soil with coarser particles than usual, and the color of the finish changes depending on the soil mixed. The powder-powder bowl is characterized by the warm texture of red soil with white make-up soil. The compatibility between red clay and glaze is so different that you can enjoy it differently from white clay.

| Black soil

・For modern pottery

Black soil refers to the soil made by mixing white clay with black pigment. It is also called black mud, and the color and texture differ depending on the composition of the soil and the fineness of the particles. When fired, it turns brown or greyish black, giving a modern look. It seems to be a little difficult to mold and difficult to handle. Among the same clay, prices tend to be higher than white clay and red clay.

| Porcelain Soil

・Beautiful and transparent white

Pottery is roughly divided into four types: pottery, porcelain, sandstone, and earthenware, and the raw material used to make porcelain is porcelain earth. The main component is porcelain stone such as feldspar and silica stone, which are also glass materials. The baked color is white and transparent. In addition, it is said that it is difficult to handle by hand compared to clay. It is often used as a casting slurry because the particles are very fine and high technology is required to form a shape with a potter's wheel. Porcelain earth has a high heat resistance temperature and can withstand temperatures between 1250℃ and 1350℃, so bake it at a high temperature. After firing, it has a light-shielding property and produces a high metallic sound when tapped. The feature is that there are many things that can be used in a microwave oven or dishwasher. Due to the difference in raw materials, porcelain is called "stone" while pottery is called "earthen".

| Semi-Magnetic Soil

.Each has characteristics of pottery and porcelain

The characteristic of semi-magnetic clay is that it has the properties of both white clay and porcelain clay. Although it is not as good as porcelain soil, it is a finely textured and smooth soil. Also, it is easy to handle like pottery clay, and can be formed by various methods such as hand bending, potter's wheel molding, casting. After firing, it has a light-shielding property and becomes white when baked. However, it does not have the whiteness and transparency that porcelain earth has, and it also has a little water absorption. Semi-magnetic earthenware has stronger strength than pottery, and many can be used in a range or dishwasher.

| Nabechi

・Material that can be applied to an open flame

Special clay is used for clay pots that are used over an open fire. The reason is that the pot heated rapidly by the fire contracts in the process of cooling after the soil, which is the base material, expands thermally. If you make it with the ordinary soil used when making tableware, it will not be able to withstand the change and will break. The pot clay used for the clay pot may be either natural clay or soil prepared for the clay pot. A mineral called petalite is mixed in the mixed soil to increase heat resistance. The addition of petalite reduces the coefficient of thermal expansion and makes it less prone to cracking. In addition, the baking to make the clay pot is done at 1100℃-1200℃. This is because, if the temperature exceeds 1200 degrees, the clay will be hardened and there will be no gap to absorb the thermal expansion due to an open fire, and it will crack.

| Finally

・Various variety of pottery clay

We introduced some soils that are the basis of ceramics. Even though I have been enjoying pottery for many years, there are things I have never seen! There are so many types of soil. In addition, even if soil is collected from the same place, the composition of the soil may change depending on the timing of sampling, and the color tone may change. Some of the artists who are particular about making clay from the soil, such as kneading the pigments themselves or using the soil that they have taken. If you pay attention to what kind of soil is used in each vessel, you may discover new charms.

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