Definition Of Greenware Ceramics
Greenware is clay that has been given shape but not yet fired in a kiln. Greenware is the stage where it contains water and is shaped and molded into its ultimate form. It’s still malleable clay. Once fired, clay is no longer Greenware. Greenware clay is highly fragile and weak since it contains a lot of moisture. Greenware is dried mud with little value or practical application.
What Is Considered Greenware?
Greenware refers to clay pieces that have been formed but have not yet been bisque fired, converting them from clay to ceramic. Unfired pottery is referred to as Greenware.
What Is The Difference Between Bisque And Greenware?
The distinction between Greenware and bisque is that when manufacturers or artisans pour Greenware, they are simply combining solutions and clay together to create a slip clay. Bisque is clay that has been fired at a high temperature in a kiln.
What Is Greenware Used For?
Greenware is the first step in creating ceramic art. Greenware has no practical use until it’s fired in a kiln. Greenware is defined as an unfired clay object or body that was cast (poured) from a purchased or manufactured mold. Greenware’s next step is to dry, clean, paint, and/or glaze the clay body before firing it in a kiln.
What Is Dry Greenware?
The word “bone dry” is used to describe and identify Greenware clay pottery that has dried as much as possible before its bisque firing. When handled, bone dry Greenware has a room temperature feel to it, rather than being cool to the touch.Greenware should be dry before it’s first firing otherwise it may crack during bisque firing.
Greenware Pottery Stages
1. Original Greenware Stage
Greenware in it’s original form is very malleable and moist. this is the stage when the basic form is constructed. At this stage, Greenware can still be worked by adding more water or clay so that it softens and then can be easily reshaped. However one important note is that Greenware should not be fired in the kiln. It should dry out first and be in a bone dry state otherwise it could crack or break.
2. Leather Hard Stage Greenware
In this stage the Greenware still have some moisture and bodies can be slipped together or joined. In addition cleaned up can be done and relief or impressions can be made into the clay surface.
3. Bone Dry Greenware
Greenware in the bone dry stage is when the clay is completely hardened and ready to be fired.
For Greenware, the drying process is critical. Until it is bone dry, it can’t be fired in the kiln, or it can deform or break in the kiln. Your Greenware needs to be carefully dried and in the process make sure all parts of the piece are dried evenly. It is important not to force-dry pottery in an attempt to speed up the drying process by blowing hot air on it. If you rush the process Greenware will crack. It’s in this stage where I do most of the handcrafted ceramic work.
I am well aware of how fragile Greenware is due to I have broken many pieces in creating ceramic artwork. Greenware can be in different stages. For example it can be wet, damp, soft leather-hard, leather-hard, stiff leather-hard, dry, and even bone dry. These are examples of different drying stages of Greenware.
How To Dry Greenware
Usually how I dry my Greenware is on racks and shelves allowing air to circulate between objects. Pieces need to be separated from each other otherwise they might end up melding together.
The drying process goes through several stages like I already mentioned from when it is still visibly damp to when it has dried enough to handle without deformation. And then finally to a final bone dry stage. When it’s in this stage the bone dry stage the art piece will feel warmer to the touch and you will visibility see it is much drier due to the color change. It will mist likely change to slightly lighter color of clay.
I like to decorate my Greenware while it is drying in a state where is can support it’s own weight. While it’s in the Greenware stage or state I also sometimes add a glaze and then it will be fired. This is where I add color and texture to my artwork.