What is unfired clay called?

Unfired clay, before it undergoes the firing process, is commonly referred to by several terms, each of which describes its specific state and potential for transformation into ceramics.


Greenware is the term used to describe unfired clay that has been shaped and molded but has not yet undergone any firing. It retains its plasticity and can be further worked on, refined, or decorated before firing.

Raw Clay

Raw clay refers to the natural, unprocessed clay that is extracted from the earth. It has not been mixed, refined, or altered in any way and is in its most natural state.

Unfired Clay

The term “unfired clay” is a broad descriptor that encompasses all stages of clay before firing, including greenware and clay in its plastic or leather-hard state.


The different terms used to describe unfired clay highlight its potential for transformation and creative expression in ceramics. Whether referred to as greenware, raw clay, or simply unfired clay, these terms capture the essence of clay’s workability before it becomes ceramic.

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