The ceramic Wheel is supported by that is readers. If girlfriend click one of my links, I might earn a commission. I’m additionally a participant of the Amazon Affiliate Program and will do a commission indigenous qualifying purchases. This helps me store the website running. Give thanks to you, ns really appreciate your support!

The people of clay is complete of state that can sound a little bit odd once you very first encounter them. If you are brand-new to ceramics, you could have uncovered yourself wondering ‘what is fired clay called?’ below is review of three main terms that are supplied to refer to clay that has actually been fired.

You are watching: Clay that has been fired once

Fired clay is either referred to as ‘ceramic’, ‘bisqueware’, or ‘glazeware’. Clay is normally fired twice. ~ the first firing, the clay is called ‘ceramic’. The first firing is referred to as the bisque fire, and also the clay i do not care bisqueware. The 2nd fire is the glaze fire, and also this clay is dubbed glazeware.

The selection of terms to use to refer to fired clay have the right to be a little confusing. So, let’s take it a closer look at every one….

Table that Contents display
1 What is Fired Clay Called? A Closer look
1.1 Ceramics
1.1.1 What happens to Clay as soon as it’s Fired
1.2 Bisqueware
1.2.1 space Ceramics always Fired Twice?
1.3 Glazeware
1.4 final Thoughts on What to speak to Fired Clay

What is Fired Clay Called? A Closer Look

The three main terms offered to describe fired clay space ceramic, bisqueware and glazeware. If you’d choose to look at one of these state specifically, girlfriend can click the link below. Or, you have the right to read about each hatchet in turn.



As declared above, clay is often fired twice once it is being made into pottery. The an initial firing is referred to as the bisque fire. Prior to clay goes right into a bisque fire, it is left to dry out. When it is together dry together it deserve to be in the open air, that is referred to as ‘bone dried clay’.

Once clay is bone dried it is all set to be fired for the an initial time. In its bone dry state, the clay is fragile and will break easily if handled carelessly. It is additionally water-soluble, for this reason 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 readjust it has undergone is the the water in the clay has actually evaporated. That worth discussing that back the clay might feel totally dry, every bone dry clay has some water. The water that evaporates together the clay dries is mechanical water. Mechanical water sits in between the clay particles and is free to migrate to the surface of the clay. As soon as it will the surface ar of the clay it have the right to evaporate.

Unfired clay likewise contains ‘chemically external inspection water’, i beg your pardon doesn’t leaving the clay together it dries out. This water is inside the clay particles and is only driven out by warmth when the clay is fired.

What happens to Clay when it’s Fired

When clay is fired for the very first time, it undergoes a number of physical and chemical changes. The following alters happen progressively as the temperature in the kiln rises:

The staying mechanical water in the clay evaporatesOrganic issue in the clay burns awayWater that is chemically bonded to the clay corpuscle is propelled outChemical and also mineral compound are charred offSintering occurs, this is when the surface ar of the clay bit starts to bond together, and also the clay i do not care denser

As a an outcome of these physical and chemical changes the fired ware turns from clay come ‘ceramic’. Unequal unfired clay, ceramic ware is hard, porous, and insoluble. Clay breaks under in water, whereas ceramic ware will certainly absorb water yet stay intact. Ceramicware will additionally shatter or break if it is dropped. This is due to the fact that it is brittle and hard. By comparison bone dry clay will crumble.


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


In addition to this, bisque ceramics are additionally called bisqueware or bisque ware. Although these words space spelled a tiny differently, they room taken to average the exact same thing.

As explained above, bisque fired pottery is still porous. For the reason, bisque ware is not perfect to be provided as sensible ware, such as mugs and also plates. If porous ceramics are offered to hold liquid, the water will progressively seep into and through the ceramic wall. Also, v time, lengthy contact with water will undermine porous ceramics.

Porosity is among the factors why pottery is glazed. The glaze develops a glassy non-porous surface ar over the ceramic body. Also, during the glaze fire, some clay have the right to itself become non-porous if the is fired to a high enough temperature.

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

Are Ceramics always Fired Twice?

However, not all ceramics needs to it is in fired twice. Because that example, part sculptural job-related will simply be bisque fired. After ~ a bisque fire, sculptures have the right to be offered a non-glaze decorative complete that doesn’t require firing.

There is a long heritage of porcelain being used in one unglazed state because that sculptural work. This is referred to as ‘biscuit porcelain’, and has a delicate, matte finish. Think that the numerous portrait sculptures you could have viewed from roughly the 18th and 19th centuries.

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

However, many of the time, firing pottery happens in two stages, the 2nd stage gift 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. Favor bisque ware, there room a few different terms that are used to refer to glazed pottery. These terms room ‘glaze fired’, ‘glaze ware’, and ‘glazeware’. To complicate the matter more glaze shooting is likewise sometimes dubbed ‘glost firing’.


Not surprisingly, glaze ware refers to ceramics that have gone with the glazing process. Glazing involves using unfired fluid glaze come the ceramic surface and then firing it. As soon as it is fired, the glaze, which contains glass-forming ingredients, melts and forms a glassy surface on the ceramics.

There are various different types of clay, the key ones being earthenware, stoneware, and also porcelain. These different varieties of clay are glaze fired at various temperatures and also have different properties when they have been fired. Nevertheless, all ceramics that have been glazed are dubbed glaze ware or glazeware.

See more: 24 Is What Percent Of 80 Is 24 Is What Percent Of 80? 24 Out Of 80 Is What Percent

Final think on What to call Fired Clay

The selection of various names because that fired clay can feel a little difficult when you begin out. However, you will get a manage on the ‘lingo’ as you become much more familiar through the pottery practices.

I psychic the first time ns spoke come a pottery supplier and also feeling embarrassed come use the word bisque. The felt unfamiliar and also weird, and as if ns was speaking a different language. Like ordering a cup of coffee in a international language as soon as you’re ~ above holiday. Yet I’m now comfortable v the dialect and also have good ‘conversational’ ceramic speak!

If you have uncovered yourself wondering what is fired clay called?’, i hope you discovered this post helpful. In no time the selection of various terms will end up being familiar, and also like a second language.