soft rock based compound often used for sculpture and tools

Clay is a naturally occurring material composed primarily of fine-grained minerals, which show plasticity through a variable range of water content, and which can be hardened when dried and/or fired.


  • Do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?
  • All that happens to us, including our humiliations, our misfortunes, our embarrassments, all is given to us as raw material, as clay, so that we may shape our art.
    • Jorge Luis Borges, Twenty Conversations with Borges, Including a Selection of Poems: Interviews by Roberto Alifano (1984)
  • Time's wheel runs back or stops: Potter and clay endure.
  • The heart -- which may be broken: happy they!
    Thrice fortunate! who of that fragile mould,
    The precious porcelain of human clay,
    Break with the first fall.
  • How shall we celebrate the day,
    When God appeared in mortal clay,
    The mark of worldly scorn.
  • If we could once understand the common clay of earth we should understand everything.
  • Clay is embedded in our subconscious. It has been there for at least 50,000 years.
    • Art Clokey, quoted by Mike Antonucci (Knight Ridder), "Gumby's creator formed a spirit in clay", The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1 January 1998, p. 6E
  • A vase of unbaked clay, when broken, may be remoulded, but not a baked one.
  • These look like the workmanship of heaven;
    This is the porcelain clay of human kind,
    And therefore cast into these noble moulds.
  • This Great God,
    Like a mammy bending over her baby,
    Kneeled down in the dust
    Toiling over a lump of clay
    Till He shaped it in His own image.
  • Why, if the Soul can fling the Dust aside,
    And naked on the Air of Heaven ride,
    Were't not a Shame — were't not a Shame for him
    In this clay carcase crippled to abide?
  • Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou?
  • Who are they who speak evil of the clay? The very stars are made of clay like mine!
    • Jack London,letter to Charles Warren Stoddard (11 August 1905)
  • In man, creator and created are united; in man in the material, the fragment, the surplus, the clay, the mud, the foolishness, the chaos; but in man also is the creator, the sculptor, the wielder of the hammer, the beholder of divinity, the seventh day.
  • Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.
  • Imperial Caesar, dead and turned to clay,
    Might stop a hole to keep the wind away.
  • If they find some stain or blemish in a name of note, not grieving that their greatest are so small, inflate themselves with some insane delight, and judge all nature from her feet of clay.
  • What is man but a mass of thawing clay? The ball of the human finger is but a drop congealed. The fingers and toes flow to their extent from the thawing mass of the body. Who knows what the human body would expand and flow out to under a more genial heaven?
  • A wise man will only be useful as a man, and will not submit to be “clay.”
  • To get wealth and security by guile
    Is like one who pours water into a pot of unbaked clay.

See also

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