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Bisque Vs. Biscuit


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#1 Erinspottery

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 10:36 AM

I am about midway through A Potter's Book Bernard Leach for literary entertainment and for the first time have seen biscuit printed and just figured it was the proper English version of bisque past tense verb which I have often written and say out loud multiple times a week -- ie: It will be bisqued tomorrow/This piece has been bisqued. Guess spell check isn't wrong afterward.

The dictionary uses biscuit as a noun but never a word, so is bisque used as a past tense verb not correct?

My vocabulary is something I am working on over all but was never my strongest suit in school.

It did not even occur to me that biscuit was correct until I saw Micheal Kiln use it on his blog.....

Micheal, I would love some educating today. We really should say Biscuit as in bis-kit the bread in referring to clay that has been fired? It sounds so weird rolling off my tongue that I might just stick with bisque ware.

Thanks!

Erin
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#2 CarlCravens

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Posted 31 July 2010 - 04:35 PM

Simon Leach, grandson of Bernard Leach, says "biscuit" in his YouTube videos from time to time, but I can't recall the exact context. I do seem to recall that he uses both in the same sentence, like he's clarifying or realizing that his audience tends to use the other word.

Hamer & Hamer (The Potter's Dictionary of Materials and Techniques, 2004) say:

Bisc
Bisque. Hard biscuit. Unglazed fired pottery. The words bisc and bisque are used to imply the industrial method of a high temperature firing of unglazed ware to be followed by a lower temperature glaze firing.

Biscuit
To fire ware unglazed in preparation for glazing; also the unglazed fired ware. [...] individual potters imply the use of a temperature lower than the following glaze firing and use the term bisc or bisque for the industrial method of high-temperature biscuit firings."

They have much more to say, nearly a page full between the two entries. (I love this book. You should love this book, too.)

The Wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia....isque_(pottery)) says that "biscuit" is the more common term, except in the United States, where we "confusingly" use bisque.

So it looks like we in the US have picked up an incorrect usage. I always assumed that the two words meant the same thing... and in the US I think they do. (I had no idea that industrial methods did high-fire bisque and low-fire glaze.)
Carl (Wichita, KS)

#3 Erinspottery

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Posted 01 August 2010 - 09:54 AM

They have much more to say, nearly a page full between the two entries. (I love this book. You should love this book, too.)




Thanks, Carl for the clarification. And it's funny, because as I read your refence I looked up on the shelve about 2 feet from the desk top and there sits that dictionary. A really great one, however, show the technological advances do tend to make the lazy -- hence my forum question instead of just opening the book and seeing for myself.

Hopefully this helped others out as well.

Thanks!

Erin



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#4 Stephen Robison

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 01:53 PM

Semantics!

English in England is different than English in other countries. Yes the Kings English is correct but also in the USA bisque can be used in the past tense with adding an ed to the end. Now I learnt that a while ago. I sound kind of like an uneducated person saying learnt. But learnt is the proper past tense of the word learn. Learned is actually an adverb describing a person and having a certain knowledge. But I digress, learned is also the past tense of learn in the USA. Its like colour and color.
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#5 CarlCravens

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Posted 02 August 2010 - 04:55 PM

Thanks, Carl for the clarification. And it's funny, because as I read your refence I looked up on the shelve about 2 feet from the desk top and there sits that dictionary. A really great one, however, show the technological advances do tend to make the lazy -- hence my forum question instead of just opening the book and seeing for myself.


I can't blame you for that... I've tended to do the same thing, searching Google and forums for my answers instead of turning to Hamer & Hamer first. I'm getting better at remembering that it's there and what it's for.
Carl (Wichita, KS)

#6 TracieA

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Posted 05 September 2010 - 05:09 PM


Thanks, Carl for the clarification. And it's funny, because as I read your refence I looked up on the shelve about 2 feet from the desk top and there sits that dictionary. A really great one, however, show the technological advances do tend to make the lazy -- hence my forum question instead of just opening the book and seeing for myself.


I can't blame you for that... I've tended to do the same thing, searching Google and forums for my answers instead of turning to Hamer & Hamer first. I'm getting better at remembering that it's there and what it's for.


I'm with Stephen - semantics. I use the term biscuit firing for any firing before glazing and bisqueware for the stuff I might buy from someone like Potclays to just glaze myself ie is made for the particular purpose of commercial selling for people who perhaps cannot throw items etc and would like to make presents that are unique for their friends and family or to practice upon. I use leatherhard for anything that has dried and is ready for firing. But it is very personal. Like most things in art, don't get too caught up in these things. Use the terms that you feel comfortable with e.g the ones you were first taught or heard x

#7 Deb Evans

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Posted 25 October 2010 - 06:17 PM

I believe most of our ceramic terminolagy has come from the english traditions so we use their terms and in some cases changed the spelling and pronounceation.

#8 JBaymore

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Posted 26 October 2010 - 08:29 AM

A component of a good education is broad understanding. So being aware of this historical and contextual background of the development of such terminology and any potential cultural differences is a good thing.

If nothing else, that way when you are talking to someone who uses an alternate term...... you can communicate.

best,

.............john
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#9 Seasoned Warrior

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Posted 27 October 2010 - 09:49 PM

I believe most of our ceramic terminolagy has come from the english traditions so we use their terms and in some cases changed the spelling and pronounceation.


Do you mean terms such as biscuit or bisque which are actually French, or like majolica, kaolin, cuerdo seca, raku, celadon, temmoku, shino, Anagama, and others? Posted Image

Regards,
Charles




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