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Different Firing Rate/speed When Firing Pottery Vs. Ceramics?

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Hello all,

I have my own equipment at home (manual cress kiln and pottery wheel) and I also take a class; last night there was a comment that firing pottery is much different than firing traditional ceramics.  (Meaning on average when firing ceramics it would take about 8 hours, pottery should take closer to 12-16 for Cone 6)

 

Is that a true statement?  That firing pottery is a much longer process than for ceramics?

C.

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Definitions according to the internet: 

 

Ceramics = pots and other articles made from clay hardened by heat.

 

Pottery =  made by forming a clay body into objects of a required shape and heating them to high temperatures in a kiln which removes all the water from the clay, which induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing their strength and hardening and setting their shape. 

 

As far as the firing goes: there is no truth to that statement, many people here fire to cone 6 in under 8 hours. I know I used to run a schedule that fired to cone 6 in 7 hours. 

 

Ceramics = Pottery. There are those who separate themselves from potters, sometimes calling themselves ceramic artist, but in truth all potters are also ceramic artist. It is just how fancy we want to sound when we say our title.

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Ceramics= pretty much anything made of clay materials. Technically, anything made from aluminosilicates.

 

Pottery is ceramic. Little figurines are ceramic. The porcelain parts of spark plugs are ceramic. Knife blades can be ceramic. Toilets and sinks are ceramic. Tiles are ceramic. The slip cast figurine branch of ceramics has taken the term to mean what they do, and call things made with moist clay 'pottery'. People who work in figurine ceramics are the only ones who use the term 'ceramics' they way they do. Everyone else uses the much broader definition of the word. If you read the magazine 'Ceramics Monthly', there are no slip cast figurines in there. It is all potters and sculptors. Some of the work may be slip cast or made in molds, but they create their own molds from scratch.

 

It can all be fired the same way. There's a lot of mis-information in the figurine ceramics world about what potters do, simply because figurine 'ceramics' folks don't make pottery.

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We should brand electric fired pottery as ePottery and say it is a better way to do it. It takes longer and therefore has a higher price. /sigh

 

 

There are millions of differences between different ways of firing work. The final results are aesthetically different but only minimally physically different.

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The words used in the statement have taken on new meanings in the current day. The paint-your-own storefronts that offer children's birthday parties as their mainstay have adopted the "ceramic art" as a marketing term to make it sound better than mass-produced decorative tchotchkes painted by 3-yr. olds. Fine, good for them. They generally do low-fire, and it will be ready to pick-up tomorrow.

 

Potters do utilitarian pots starting with raw clay and often fired to higher temperatures for longer times. That takes longer.

 

Sculptors do fine artistic creations, also usually starting with the raw clay, and because of the size and density, the firing usually takes much longer.

 

"Traditional ceramics" means what? Primitive, ancient (Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Chinese?), pre-industrial production, or what tradition are we talking about?

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Thank you all, maybe I need to refine what I am asking; we were talking about for example the next fiiring (glaze firing) when doing "ceramics".  The thought being in ceramics, still making greenware, firing to cone 04 then glaze fire.  The statement that was made was that a "glaze fire" for "ceramics" as I eluded to takes less time than "pottery" glaze firing.

 

Thank you for the input; I never really saw a different between making/mold pouring and associated process vs. Clay/Pottery hand building and now wheel works....

Input helps a lot!

C.

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As a *very* general rule, glaze firing that goes to cone 04 or 06, which are common bisque, "hobby greenware"'and earthenware glaze temperatures will take less time than a firing that goes to the hotter temperatures of cone six or cone ten, certainly. Particularly if you are using the factory programs on your kiln. Technically, hobby greenware and pottery are both clay that when fired, becomes ceramic material. Hobby greenware is usually formulated to mature at the lower end of the ceramic temperature scale to make it more economical and accessible to fire. Different firing ranges have different amounts of fired strength and colour response. At higher temperatures, you loose certain bright colours (reds, oranges), but gain strength, resistance to acid wear, and less porosity, things that are needed for tableware. With hobby greenware, you want bright, pretty colours, and porosity doesn't matter. So it makes sense to fire at a (relatively) cooler temperature that takes less time and fuel so you don't loose your oranges and purples. All of that said, there is indeed lots of pottery that is glaze fired to these lower temperatures for those same aesthetic reasons, and you can make casting slip that goes in a cone 12 wood kiln.

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i am confused too.

 

however a glaze fire IS shorter than a bisque fire usually in some studios (like my school's) because they candle longer. as diesel pointed out a cone 04 glaze fire takes much less time than a cone 5 glaze fire.

 

traditional? do they mean ancient earthenware techniques - different firing techniques like pit fire. some traditions who dont usually any glaze dont have long firing time. 

 

i think by 'pottery' firing you are you talking about greenware to bisque firing? for some cultures this can be the only firing. there is no glaze firing. for some like traditional east asia there is no 2 firings. the glaze and bisque is one fire. you directly glaze your greenware. but those are wood firings and they can last from 3 days to 7 usually. some even more.

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