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The properties which make them different include: Plasticity, the malleability of the body; the extent to which they will absorb water after firing; and shrinkage, the extent of reduction in size of a body as water is removed.Different clay bodies also differ in the way in which they respond when fired in the kiln.of which major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain.The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery (plural "potteries").In addition to the potter's hands these techniques can use tools, including paddles, anvils & ribs, and those specifically for cutting or piercing such as knives, fluting tools, needle tools and wires.Thrown pieces can be further modified by the attachment of handles, lids, feet and spouts.Both the maximum temperature and the duration of firing influences the final characteristics of the ceramic.

There can be regional variations in the properties of raw materials used for the production of pottery, and this can lead to wares that are unique in character to a locality.

It is common for clays and other materials to be mixed to produce clay bodies suited to specific purposes.

A common component of clay bodies is the mineral kaolinite.

A clay body can be decorated before or after firing.

Prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared.