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Dictionary    sculpture and craft
Whenever you need to check an art definition or find out about art techniques, our Londonart.co.uk Dictionary comes handy! If you are baffled by art terms and cannot differentiate between C-type photograph and giclee print browse our online, free dictionary. We provide definitions in four different categories: painting and drawing; art styles; photography; sculpture and craft. Just choose the area you are interested in and search for explanations.
CERAMICS
Ceramics is the art form that uses ceramic materials to produce works of art. These are non-metallic materials whose formation is due to the action of heat. The most important ceramic materials are traditional clays, made into pottery, bricks, tiles and glass.
CLAY
Clay refers to minerals of a plastic quality formed primarily of alumina and silica. Different kinds of clay bodies are created by mixing additives, such as feldspar, grog, quartz and flint. Natural clays are altered to fire at specific temperatures. Darker clays often contain iron and other metal oxide impurities.
GLASS
Glass is a uniform amorphous solid material, usually produced when the viscous molten material cools very rapidly to below its glass transition temperature, without sufficient time for a regular crystal lattice to form. The most familiar form of glass is the silica-based material used for windows, containers and decorative objects. In its pure form, glass is a transparent, strong, hard-wearing and biologically inactive material which can be formed with very smooth and impervious surfaces.
MOSAIC
Mosaic is the art of decoration with small pieces of coloured glass, stone or other material. Small tiles, fragments of pottery, coloured glass or clear glass backed with metal foils are used to create a pattern or picture.
PLASTER
Plaster is a type of building material based on calcium sulfate hemihydrate. It is also often used as an intermediate stage in the production of large cast sculptures (typically of cast bronze) or in the creation of carved stone. The original work is usually first modeled in wet clay over a supporting structure called an armature before molds are made.
RESIN
Resin is a hydrocarbon secretion of many plants, particularly coniferous trees, valued for its chemical constituents and uses such as varnishes and adhesives. The term is also used for synthetic substances of similar properties.
STAINED GLASS
Stained glass is glass that has either been painted and fired or coloured by adding metallic salts during its manufacture. Stained glass is an art and a craft that requires the artistic skill to conceive the design, and the engineering skills necessary to assemble the piece so that it is capable of supporting its own weight and surviving the elements.
STONEWARE
Stoneware is a category of clay and a type of pottery distinguished primarily by its firing and maturation temperature (from about 1200C to 1315C). In essence, it is man-made stone.
TILE
A tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, clay, stone, porcelain, metal or glass. Tiles are most often made from ceramic, with a hard glaze finish, but other materials are also commonly used, such as glass, slate and reformed ceramic slurry, which is cast in a mould and fired.