2008 Student Research Conference:
21st Annual Student Research Conference

Exploration of Natural Clays
Kelsey V. Wiskirchen
Prof. Wynne Wilbur, Faculty Mentor

Ceramics is a highly complex art form that involves both aesthetic and technical decisions. Precise measurements have been developed for the materials that go into different types of clays and glazes. Potters can buy dry unmixed ingredients and produce clay bodies with the exact properties that they desire for their work. While I appreciate these advances, I am interested in the more primitive side of ceramics. I am fascinated by the fact that crude clay is so readily available. It can be found right in my backyard; all that it takes is a shovel to access an unlimited supply. I am digging raw clay from several sites in Missouri and testing these different clays for their plasticity, shrinkage and workability. After I dig and test these clays, I am utilizing this natural resource by using it in my own work on the pottery wheel.

Keywords: ceramics, clay, pottery, natural resource


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 15-1
Location: OP 2210
Time: 9:45

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