Common questions about clay, pottery wheels, and kilns - Part 1

What are some of the most popular types of clay for pottery beginners?

High Fire Clay

Stoneware is good clay for beginners and is often used in schools and universities. The "stone" part of its name comes from its stone-like density and hardness after firing. Pottery suppliers will often have stoneware bodies prepared for throwing. Stoneware is a buff-colored, high-fire clay (its maturing range is about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit to 2375 degrees Fahrenheit).

Low Fire Clay
Earthenware is another type of clay that's often used by novice potters. Unlike stoneware, earthenware is a porous, low-fire clay (1800 degrees Fahrenheit to 2150 degrees Fahrenheit). Red earthenware is a naturally occurring clay that's inexpensive and easy to throw (terra cotta is a type of red earthenware). To be waterproof, red earthenware pots will require a glaze. White earthenware costs more, is a bit more difficult to throw, and has a higher maturation range (1950 degrees Fahrenheit to 2150 degrees Fahrenheit), but creates attractive, bright white, decorative pottery ware.

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