As an expert in ceramics, the term “fired” is a crucial concept to understand. It refers to the process of heating clay to a high temperature in order to transform it into a hardened, permanent material. There are different firing techniques depending on the type of clay and final product desired, but the two main categories are bisque or low firing and high firing.
Bisque firing is done at a lower temperature of around 1700°F (900°C) and is used to harden the clay and make it porous enough to accept glaze. After bisque firing, the clay is referred to as “bisqueware.”
Glazes, which are liquid mixtures of silica, feldspar, and other oxides, are applied to the bisqueware and then the clay is fired again at a much higher temperature, usually above 2000°F (1100°C), in a process called high firing. The glaze fuses to the surface of the clay during this second firing, creating a durable, glossy finish.
Whether bisque or high firing, the heating of the ceramic piece is essential for creating a stable, permanent product. Without firing, the clay would remain soft and malleable, preventing it from being used for functional or decorative pieces. Therefore, the answer to the crossword clue ‘Like ceramics’ is ‘FIRED‘.