Clay is one of the oldest building materials used in construction to this day. The ability of this natural material to solidify under certain conditions makes it possible to use it for various purposes in the construction of different buildings. Many artists of the past and the present choose this material to create their pieces of art.
Clay is a fine-grained sedimentary rock, pulverized in a dry state, plastic when moistened. Clay consists of one or more minerals of the kaolinite group (derived from the name of the Kaolin area in China), montmorillonite or other layered aluminosilicates (clay minerals), but may contain sand and carbonate particles. The main source of clay rocks is feldspar, in the decay of which, under the influence of atmospheric phenomena, kaolinite and other hydrates of aluminum silicates are formed. Some clays of sedimentary origin are formed in the process of local accumulation of the mentioned minerals. However, most of them are sediments of water streams falling to the bottom of lakes and seas.
Clay is a secondary product of the earth’s crust, a sedimentary rock formed as a result of the destruction of rock in the process of weathering. Keep reading to learn about uses of clay in construction and art.
Uses of clay in construction
What is adobe? The term itself comes from the Turkic “straw”. Implies the adobe under the building material from clay soil, dried in the open air.Even in a relatively recent past, this material has been widely used in the world. To this day, adobe buildings are everywhere found in Asia, Europe, and Russia.
Despite the fact that it is currently accepted to use modern materials deemed to be more durable, there is vivid evidence that many materials of our time are largely inferior in strength to houses built from clay.
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This is also one of the general uses of clay in construction. Red clay brick has been used for several centuries in construction. It does not give up its positions and even strengthens them. Brick masonry is strong, aesthetic, and is used not only in civil construction. Bricks build foundations and walls, build fences, arbors, wells. As for stoves and fireplaces – then there is no competition at all.
It should be noted that for the production of ceramic stones, not all clay is suitable. The one that can be used in such products is called: ‘clay brick’. There are many varieties of such clays, and they all differ in composition and characteristics.
Clay roofs and ceramic tiles
Clay or ceramic tiles are one of the best among the roofing materials that have been used in construction for a very, very long time. Its advantageous property is a special installation system that avoids visible joints, as well as grooves that create very good waterproofing of the roof.
For the production of ceramic tiles is used 100% natural material — clay. Raw materials suitable for the production of ceramic tiles must have a certain composition and properties that ensure the quality of the final product. It should not be greasy or contain a lot of sand. The blend that is used for making pots would be ideal in this case.
The thing is that you can do such blend at your home. So, you have to choose the right type of clay and start to do the composition. Raw clay could not be used in his original shape, so it has to be prepared. Commonly, there are already prepared blends on the consumer market.
Uses of clay in art
One of the most important technological inventions of the Neolithic was ceramics. From ancient times people had tanks made of stone, but vessels in the full sense of the word, which could be filled with liquid and stored, did not exist before.
Later, it served as researchers to distinguish the stages of their development, as the fashion influenced its decoration (embossing, scratching, stuccoing, painting), the shape and number of pens, and even the shape of the vessel itself.
The first ceramic vessels were made of clay without the use of a potter’s wheel and imitated the shapes of leather furs, pumpkin calibers or baskets that served as models for the first decorative patterns. For embossing the clay surface, various methods were used, using sea shells (cardiac ceramics), spatulas or stitching objects. Another technique was to take out soft clay and inlay another material (for example, a white paste), and in this way, an impressive decorative color effect was created.
It’s fair enough to say that clay remains one of the favorite materials of sculptors to this day. This could be explained easily due to the cheapness and availability of this material. So, there are lots of modern masterpieces, which were made of clay. And humanity continues to use this natural material not only in art but in the construction as well.
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