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The world of clay is complete of state that can sound a little odd once you very first encounter them. If friend are new to ceramics, you might have uncovered yourself wondering what is fired clay called?’ here is summary of three main terms the are provided to refer to clay that has been fired.

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Fired clay is either called ‘ceramic’, ‘bisqueware’, or ‘glazeware’. Clay is usually fired twice. After ~ the very first firing, the clay is dubbed ‘ceramic’. The first firing is dubbed the bisque fire, and also the clay becomes bisqueware. The 2nd fire is the glaze fire, and also this clay is dubbed glazeware.

The variety of terms to usage to describe fired clay can be a little bit confusing. So, let’s take a closer watch at every one….

Table of Contents show
1 What is Fired Clay Called? A Closer watch
1.1 Ceramics
1.1.1 What wake up to Clay as soon as it’s Fired
1.2 Bisqueware
1.2.1 room Ceramics constantly Fired Twice?
1.3 Glazeware
1.4 last Thoughts on What to contact Fired Clay

What is Fired Clay Called? A Closer Look

The three main terms used to refer to fired clay room ceramic, bisqueware and glazeware. If you’d favor to watch at among these state specifically, you can click on the link below. Or, you deserve to read about each hatchet in turn.



As proclaimed above, clay is regularly fired twice as soon as it is gift made into pottery. The an initial firing is called the bisque fire. Prior to clay goes into a bisque fire, it is left to dry out. When it is as dry as it have the right to be in the open up air, that is called ‘bone dry clay’.

Once clay is bone dried it is prepared to be fired because that the very first time. In that bone dried state, the clay is fragile and will break easily if handled carelessly. It is additionally water-soluble, so if you placed bone dry clay in water it will dissolve. When clay disappear in water, this is also known together ‘slaking down’.

When clay is bone dry, the only adjust it has actually undergone is the the water in the clay has evaporated. That worth discussing that return the clay may feel totally dry, all bone dry clay has some water. The water that evaporates as the clay dries is mechanical water. Mechanically water sits between the clay particles and is complimentary to move to the surface of the clay. When it will the surface of the clay it have the right to evaporate.

Unfired clay likewise contains ‘chemically bonded water’, i beg your pardon doesn’t leave the clay together it dries out. This water is within the clay particles and is just driven the end by heat when the clay is fired.

What happens to Clay once it’s Fired

When clay is fired because that the first time, it experience a variety of physical and also chemical changes. The following alters happen progressively as the temperature in the kiln rises:

The remaining mechanical water in the clay evaporatesOrganic matter in the clay burns awayWater that is chemically external inspection to the clay particles is propelled outChemical and also mineral compound are burned offSintering occurs, this is when the surface of the clay bit starts come bond together, and the clay becomes denser

As a an outcome of these physical and also chemical transforms the fired ware turns from clay come ‘ceramic’. Unequal unfired clay, ceramic ware is hard, porous, and also insoluble. Clay breaks down in water, whereas ceramic ware will absorb water yet stay intact. Ceramicware will likewise shatter or break if the is dropped. This is since it is brittle and also hard. By comparison bone dry clay will crumble.


Clay that has gone through the an initial firing or bisque fire is additionally called bisqueware. There are a couple of words that are supplied to describe bisque fired clay, and also they all typical the exact same thing. Bisque fired clay is periodically simply dubbed ‘bisque’, at other times the is dubbed ‘biscuit’ or ‘biscuit fired’.


In addition to this, bisque ceramics are likewise called bisqueware or bisque ware. Although these words are spelled a small differently, they space taken to median the same thing.

As described above, bisque fired pottery is quiet porous. For that reason, bisque ware is not an ideal to be provided as sensible ware, such together mugs and plates. If porous ceramics are supplied to organize liquid, the water will progressively seep into and also through the ceramic wall. Also, v time, an extensive contact with water will undermine porous ceramics.

Porosity is one of the reasons why pottery is glazed. The glaze forms a glassy non-porous surface over the ceramic body. Also, throughout the glaze fire, some clay can itself become non-porous if that is fired to a high sufficient temperature.

Once a item of ceramic is non-porous it i do not care functional and also can be offered as dinnerware or a vase.

Are Ceramics constantly Fired Twice?

However, not all ceramics requirements to it is in fired twice. For example, part sculptural occupational will just be bisque fired. After ~ a bisque fire, sculptures have the right to be provided a non-glaze decorative end up that doesn’t need firing.

There is a long legacy of porcelain being supplied in one unglazed state for sculptural work. This is dubbed ‘biscuit porcelain’, and also has a delicate, matte finish. Think that the countless portrait sculptures you can have viewed from around the 18th and also 19th centuries.

In enhancement to this, the bisque firing stage is occasionally missed the end altogether. This is recognized as ‘raw firing’ or ‘single firing’. Once pottery is raw fired, the glaze is applied to the unfired ‘raw’ clay, and also then glaze fired.

However, many of the time, firing pottery happens in 2 stages, the 2nd stage being the glaze fire. That is what we will certainly look at next…


If ceramics room glaze fired then they are referred to as glaze ware. Like bisque ware, there space a couple of different terms the are offered to describe glazed pottery. This terms space ‘glaze fired’, ‘glaze ware’, and ‘glazeware’. To complicated the matter more glaze shooting is also sometimes dubbed ‘glost firing’.


Not surprisingly, glaze ware refers to ceramics that have gone through the glazing process. Glazing involves using unfired fluid glaze to the pottery surface and then shooting it. When it is fired, the glaze, which includes glass-forming ingredients, melts and also forms a glassy surface on the ceramics.

There are miscellaneous different types of clay, the main ones being earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. This different species of clay space glaze fired at various temperatures and also have various properties as soon as they have actually been fired. Nevertheless, all ceramics that have been glazed are called glaze ware or glazeware.

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Final thoughts on What to contact Fired Clay

The variety of different names because that fired clay could feel a little daunting when you begin out. However, you will get a take care of on the ‘lingo’ together you become an ext familiar through the pottery practices.

I psychic the very first time ns spoke come a ceramic supplier and feeling embarrassed to use words bisque. That felt unfamiliar and also weird, and as if ns was speak a various language. Choose ordering a cup that coffee in a international language once you’re on holiday. Yet I’m now comfortable through the dialect and also have an excellent ‘conversational’ ceramic speak!

If friend have found yourself wondering what is fired clay called?’, ns hope you uncovered this short article helpful. In no time the variety of various terms will become familiar, and like a second language.