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ball clay

noun, Ceramics.
a fine dark kaolinic clay that turns white or nearly white when fired, used in the manufacture of a wide variety of ceramic wares in combination with other clays for its exceptional bonding properties and plasticity.
Origin of ball clay
First recorded in 1805-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ball clay
Historical Examples
  • ball clay is very plastic, easily vitrified, but is not white.

    The Potter's Craft Charles F. Binns
  • The ball clay from Poole is dug in the neighbourhood of Wareham, by Mr. Pike.

  • Pipe clays are an inferior quality of ball clay; they contain rather more iron and alkalies and considerably more silica.

    The Natural History of Clay Alfred B. Searle
  • For the same reason, great care is needed in any endeavour to sell a ball clay from an hitherto unworked deposit.

    The Natural History of Clay Alfred B. Searle
  • The use of a ball clay is therefore limited in white wares because it will spoil the color.

    The Potter's Craft Charles F. Binns
  • For earthenware or china, the English potters use only two sorts of clays: the ball clay, also called blue clay, and the kaolin.

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