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Glossary

Word of the Day!

carte de visite


Separate photographs made on a single negative and mounted on a card the size of a standard calling card. In the 19th century, this was an inexpensive means of creating mass-produced prints (pr. kart duh-vee'zeet")


kaolin

a pure clay, sometimes called china clay, used in white clay bodies such as porcelain. It is used as a source of silicon

kelvin

A unit of absolute temperature often used in photography to measure the color temperature of a source of light. Abbreviated K, kelvins can be converted to degrees Celsius by subtracting 273. Certain tungsten lamps are designed to burn at specific absolute temperatures (usually 3200 or 3400 K), guaranteeing that compatible photographic films will render the color they illuminate quite accurately.

key

A small interlocking device in the seam of a mold, enabling the mold to be precisely reassembled. The term may also refer to the slight roughening of a surface which allows a painted finish to adhere effectively. Also, it's a name given to wedges for canvas stretchers. And in architecture, the keystone at the top of an arch.

kg

Abbreviation for kilogram.

kickwheel

A potter's wheel which is driven by kicking a revolving cement disk. The major alternative is a wheel driven by an electric motor.

kiln

An special oven or furnace that can reach very high temperatures and is used to bake, or fire clay. Kilns may be electric, gas, or wood-fired. (pr. kiln or kill)

kiln wash

A refractory mixture, usually kaolin or flint, which is mixed with water and painted on kiln shelves to prevent glaze from adhering.

See Also:  dry foot

kilogram

A unit of weight measurement equal to 1000 grams. To convert kilograms into pounds (US), multiply them by 2.20462. Abbreviated kg.

kinetic

Expressing movement. In art, kinetic refers to sculpture that moves, such as a mobile or stabile. (pr. ki-ne'tick)

kinetic art

Artwork that includes movement, either mechanical or random. The Constructivists were the first to create kinetic art in the early 20th century, and Alexander Calder worked almost exclusively to make kinetic sculptures.

Example: Alexander Calder's Lobster Trap and Fish Tail, 1939

kitsch

Mass-produced or manufactured art that imitate or make fun of standard aesthetics.

Example: Jeff Koon's Puppy, 1992

kouros

Greek for "young man", kouros figures refer to archaic Greek statuary that are life-size, freestanding figures meant for tomb decoration.

Example: Kouros, from Attica, Greece, c. 600 B.C.

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