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Wikipedia article

This article is about an older version of DF.

Clay is one of the many types of soil that can be found in Dwarf Fortress. Aquifers are never present in clay layers.


Five different soil types are classified as clay - clay, clay loam, sandy clay, silty clay, and fire clay. Each of these can be gathered for use in Ceramics. If your embark site has at least one type of clay, it will be shown as Clay or Shallow Clay in the embark screen's biome viewer.

The gathering and use of clay is done from a kiln or magma kiln and behaves similarly to most material production, but includes elements similar to glass production. In order to gather clay, a gathering zone must first be designated, much like with sand; however, gathering clay creates a clay "boulder" (the same as raw stone) and does not require a bag. These clay boulders are stored in a Stone stockpile and may be used to build workshops and constructions, but constructed clay floors cannot be used in place of natural soil. As with sand, clay can be gathered indefinitely from a single tile.

Clay can be made into pots, bricks, statues, hives and crafts. Small pots, called jugs, function similar to bags and waterskins, while large pots are treated like barrels. Creating any object from clay requires a unit of fuel.

Clay can also be used in Jewelcrafting like any other stone or ore, allowing for an infinite source of materials for practicing cutting gems with. However, clay can not be fired from a catapult, loaded into a stone-fall trap, or used in place of stone at a mason's workshop.

Before an earthenware pot (large or small) can hold liquids, it must be glazed. Glazing is performed at a kiln and requires either a unit of ash or a unit of cassiterite (tin ore), plus a unit of fuel. Stoneware and porcelain pots do not need to be glazed.

When an underground plant (trees, shrubs, grass or moss) grows on a muddy stone floor tile (after discovering a cavern) and is either trampled, gathered, cut down or removed via building a dirt road on top of it, the floor tile turns into a soil type appropriate to the biome - for biomes which lack soil layers altogether (such as mountains and glaciers), a random soil type will be selected, which might sometimes be clay.

Occasionally it is possible to cultivate clay by channeling down into the lowest normal layer of the cavern, revealing a "magma flow" above a floor semi-molten rock (and a ramp on the level below, if the square had not previously been revealed). If a floor is constructed over the flow, then deconstructed, a natural floor of clay or sand may be left behind. In some cases this may be the sole domestic source of clay for a fortress.


  • It is possible to carve clay just like any other stone, but unlike other stones, carved clay never gains carving descriptions -- "Round Cut Clay" does not exist, instead it's simply "Clay." This Clay is, however, treated in all respects like a normal gem and can be used to encrust the standard materials.Bug:5275