Welcome to the wonderful world of clay! We've been talking about it a lot, and chances are, if you have been to a 4Cats Arts Studio, you have given it a try!
We sincerely want you will fall in love with this medium (if you have not already!) and we want you to know all about it! You can find all of our clay workshops on our website, join us soon!
Clay is so incredibly challenging, fun and such a wonderful and non-intimidating way to do art!
Our goal is that you create a timeless piece that you can bring to your home, decorate it with, plant your favourite succulent in, use every morning for your coffee and so much more!
If are here to learn more about clay, you are in the right place. Let's begin!
WHERE DOES CLAY COME FROM?
Clay comes from the ground, and is the medium used to create ceramics & pottery. It is one of the oldest human inventions. The oldest known ceramic in the world, which dates to before the use of fired clay to make pottery, is the Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine. It was discovered in the Czech Republic, and it is just over four inches tall. It is also super old, dating back to 29,000–25,000 BC!
CLAY FUN FACTS!
Painted pottery is our main source of information about Greek art history as, fired clay is highly durable and many ancient objects have survived;
Pottery and glass are made from the same raw materials but with different proportions. Most clay, when heated to a high temperature, will melt into a glass!
There is clay on Mars, which is why scientists deem Mars as a viable place for human life because of the appearance of water.
Clay comes from the ground and is mined, usually in areas where streams and rivers once flowed.
Our Clay Workshops are divided into 2 parts! First, you make your clay, and then second, you come back to paint & glaze it!
WHY 2 PART WORKSHOPS?
You get lots of time to glaze you project! You can have up to an hour in the glazing room, no rush jobs.
You are able to do a great glaze job on clay that has been bisque fired. Less streaks, and you are able to have a better idea of what the final result will look like. And, no fingerprints from lifting their piece onto the tray!
You are more involved in the process of clay - this is super fun! You see all stages, from start to finish, which is amazing!
- Kids clay parties include adding underglaze during the hour of creation. You are not required to come back to glaze your piece, and you can glaze on fresh clay.
- Not all studios offer the two part workshops yet. You can find more details within your local studio's registration page. Workshops that include the painting portion are longer!
PART ONE: MAKE ONE
Part one is a one hour and 15 minutes workshop. You can register for the class directly on our website. When you arrive to the studio, you will be directed to your class' curator, who will teach you how to make your piece! Once you know all the details and secrets, you can get started, while our experienced and professional team is around available for any questions you may have during your creation process!
Then, once your are done, your clay will go on quite the adventure! All of the pieces will go through the kiln process as a big family. Clay takes approximately 7-10 days to become bone dry (thickness dependent) in order to go into the kiln, but we can fast track it on top of our kiln overnight. Yay! After that they go into the kiln once to be bisqued fired, which is the first firing. This is when they become strong and will turn white. They become white because mineral components of the clay body will undergo chemical changes that will change the colour of the clay.
PART TWO: GLAZE
After the clay piece has been bisque fired, you can come in on your own time (within a 2 week period) to glaze their piece in our glazing room! You will apply underglaze, the coloured paint, and glaze, the shiny coating, to your piece, and place them on a tray to be glaze fired.
The next part of your clay's adventure is about to start again! Once you have glazed your piece, they are glaze fired, which is their "second firing". This firing cycle causes the glaze material to melt, then adhere to the object.
THE SUMMARY OF THE CLAY JOURNEY
1. Make it!
3. 'Bisque' firing
4. Painting & glazing
5. 'Glaze' firing
6. READY FOR PICKUP! Studio update the little handy spreadsheet so you know when to come to pick it up!
We hope you learned lots about clay today, and please join us in the studio to get to know this amazing medium better!