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.


  1. Gourds precede pottery, usually. Pottery is mostly evolved to mimic gourds.

    FYI, if you are thinking of getting into pottery as a craft for sale, remember that it is a lot heavy lugging it to shows, and it breaks.

    Sometimes at shows we put up a sign on our booth, "Gourds. Lighter than Pottery" to remind buyers they have to cary their purchases with them.


  2. madhava ghosh...this is no longer my blog. i gave up the url and switched to