This technique was developed from a forbidden technique that Deidara stole from Iwagakure. By using the technique's ability to knead chakra into objects through the mouths in the palms of his hands, Deidara can infuse clay with explosive chakra. He then moulds it into a shape depending on the abilities he wants it to have and spits it out. After moulding the clay, Deidara can enlarge it to various sizes depending on the intended purpose of the clay. Once enlarged, the clay creations can be brought to life and controlled remotely by Deidara, who can then detonate the clay by saying "katsu" (喝) and performing the seal of confrontation. Though the explosives are powerful, they are all earth-based techniques, and as such, can be defused by a lightning technique.
Deidara ranks his clay by number in a fashion similar to the C-4 explosive, the weakest being C1 and the most powerful being C4. The other clay ranks are much more dangerous than C1, and any foe that sees Deidara use any rank higher than C1 is usually one Deidara sees as a worthy opponent:
C1: Deidara's most basic and versatile form of explosive clay created from a single palm mouth. These are small animated dolls that often resemble small birds or insects, though he has once made snakes, fish and some misshapen-like creatures controlled by Deidara through a wire made out of clay which could regenerate themselves, while multiplying. They have little explosive power, making them excellent for covert operations. He can release them at high speeds.
C2"Dragon" (ドラゴン, Doragon): One of Deidara's specialties; a large dragon, capable of flight. While Deidara is safely on its back, the dragon spits out smaller clay figures that attack the opponent like guided missiles. The dragon also produces clay mines, which are used to force opponents to fight in a limited space.
C3: Deidara's most powerful large scale bomb, an enormous, roughly human-shaped statue that Deidara drops on targets from above. Its explosive power was great enough to apparently destroy a large portion of Sunagakure.
C4"Garuda" (カルラ, Karura; Viz "C4 Karura"): A giant doll, shaped like Deidara himself. When it ruptures, a cloud of microscopic bombs is released. Impossible to be seen by a normal eye, the victims breathe in the bombs, which then enter the bloodstream. Once there, the countless micro-bombs explode, causing the victims' bodies to disintegrate at the cellular level, literally turning them into dust. According to Deidara, he created C4 for the sole purpose of defeating Itachi. Unlike the other Explosive Clay techniques, Deidara consumes the clay using his actual mouth instead of the ones on his hands.
C0"Ultimate Art" (究極芸術, Kyūkyoku Geijutsu): Deidara's most powerful technique; a suicidal technique in which he eats a large ball of clay with the mouth on his chest. This consumes his entire body, condensing the body into a large black sphere with jagged teeth and pupil-less eyes. The sphere then opens up and detonates, destroying everything within a blast that covers more than ten kilometres.
Deidara has at one time claimed he possesses the Explosion Release (爆遁, Bakuton), which suggests his explosive clay techniques are variations of this nature, despite earlier establishment that his techniques are earth-natured. However, this very statement may suggest the earth nature is a component of Explosion Release chakra or that explosive clay is a combination of Earth Release — the clay — and Explosion Release, merged together with the Iwagakure kinjutsu Deidara stole.
Katsu (喝) is a type of shout that is used in Zen Buddhism to stop the discursive thoughts of practitioners, potentially helping them achieve an enlightenment experience. It is also used as a means of focusing energy.