For our purposes here, the art form "ceramics", which has also loosely been called "pottery", is simply defined as the shaping and then firing of a clay body, at a high temperature to create a permanently hard object. To do so, one needs to select the right ceramic clay and tools with which to shape the piece.
Pottery clays and ceramic clays, also called moist clays, are virtually the same; they are all made with a water base and need to be fired in a kiln to vitrification to become permanent. The primary types of clay bodies are earthenware and stoneware which turn red, brown or white when fired.
Most of the tools that are used for clay modeling can be used for ceramics and pottery, but there are also ceramic tools specifically designed for ceramics and pottery. They include: loop tools, sharpened steel tools used during the trimming and footing process; the needle tool, used to level the excess clay from the top of a pot; fettling knives, great for scraping, cutting and removing dried clay from seams and other areas; and toggle clay cutters, 16-inch wire attached to a wooden handle at both ends, essential to cut sections of clay in the wedging process and for removing thrown pots from the wheel. Other essential ceramic tools are the elephant ear sponge and potter ribs.
The ceramic clays offered below have been meticulously formulated and produced by Sculpture House for over 50 years. The tools specific to ceramics have been carefully designed and selected for ceramics work.