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Research Valley Press Community News

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Ceramics: The Clay’s the Thing

There’s a reason ceramics have been around since the Paleolithic Period. Check out our study of the subject to fire up your appreciation for this millennia-old art form.

No matter how delicate or ornate, all ceramics come from the same stuff: highly refined dirt. Like all clay, the clay used in ceramics is essentially waterlogged soil made of mineral particles, which bond on a molecular level when baked at a certain temperature. The practice of ceramics is the art of turning this raw material into an array of pieces, sometimes with the most basic tools: two hands and some clay are all one needs to shape a pinch pot or simple figurine. Whether molded with fingers alone (called handbuilding) or shaped on a potter’s wheel…

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