Monday, August 3, 2009

Porcelain Ceramics

Porcelain Ceramics

PORCELAIN, the name of that kind of ceramic ware which is characterized by a translucent body, also loosely used for the finer kinds of ware generally, popularly known as "china". The French porcelaine, from which the word comes into English, is an adaptation of the Italian porcellana, a cowrie-shell, the beautifully polished surface of which caused the name to be applied to the ware. The Italian word is generally taken to be from porcella, diminutive of porco, pig, from a sup-posed resemblance of the shell to a pig's back.

CERAMICS, or KERAMICS, a general term for the study of the art of pottery. It is adopted for this purpose both in French (ceramique) and in German (Keramik), and thus has its convenience in English as representing an inter-national form of description for a study which owes much to the art experts of all nations, though " ceramic " and " ceramics " do not appear in English as technical terms till the middle of the 19th century.
The word "pottery" (Fr. poterie) in its widest sense includes all objects fashioned from clay and then hardened by fire, though there is a growing tendency to restrict the word to the commoner articles of this great class and to apply the word "porcelain" to all the finer varieties. This tendency is to be deprecated, as it is founded on a misconception; the word "porcelai " should only be applied to certain well-marked varieties of pottery. The very existence of pottery is dependent on two important natural properties of that great and widespread group of rocky or earthy substances known as clays, viz. the property of plasticity (the power of being readily kneaded or molded while moist), and the property of being converted when fired into one of the most indestructible of ordinary things.

Monday, June 15, 2009


Pottery is the baked-clay wares of the entire ceramics field.
Pottery is one of the most enduring materials known to humankind. In most places it is the oldest and most widespread art; primitive peoples the world over have fashioned pots and bowls of baked clay for their daily use.

Pottery comprises three major types of wares: earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Pottery clay is the clay used to make the three categories of pottery. Clay is baked in a kiln under intense heat, a process known as firing, and becomes solid. Firing is used both to harden the clay and to adhere glaze to it or color it.

The first type of pottery, earthenware, has been manufactured using the same basic techniques since ancient times. Earthenware is basically composed of clay or a blend of clays that are baked firm. Because it is fired at low heat, the pottery clay retains its porous nature and does not become translucent. Earthen wares are porous and therefore not as strong as stone wares. Earthenware can be glazed, but it will never be as hard as stoneware-glazed surface. An earthenware-glazed dish will scratch or chip more easily than the harder surface of stoneware. Faience, delft, and majolica are all types of earthenware clays.

The second type of pottery, called Stoneware is generally a mixture of other clays. It is relatively rich in vitreous material and has a high degree of plasticity, so it is very easy to manipulate. Stoneware is fired at so high a temperature (about 2185 degrees Fahrenheit) that it becomes as hard as stone and non-porous. In essence, it is man-made stone. Stoneware is extremely strong and will not absorb water. Because stoneware is nonporous, it does not require a glaze; when a glaze is used, it serves a purely decorative function. Stoneware dishes can be used in conventional and microwave ovens.

Porcelain, also called china, was invented by the Chinese and consists of feldspathic material incorporated in a stoneware composition. This pottery is actually made with a mixture of several other types of clay and minerals. It is generally composed of kaolin, ball clay, feldspar and flint. Porcelain is a very hard white ceramic which has been manufactured in China since the 600s, and in Europe since the 1700s. Porcelain is fired using very high heat, resulting in a white, nonporous pottery. Porcelain is translucent; stoneware and earthenware is not. Few works of art capture the mark of an artist like ceramic bowls. Made with a variety of techniques, no two of these handmade pottery bowls are thesame. Use these handcrafted ceramic bowls and ice cream bowls to serve all of your favorite dishes - from hearty soups to delicious ice creams and other desserts.