the difference between stoneware, ceramic, earthenware, porcelain, china, bone china, terracotta

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I’m sure there are others I’m missing, and I suspect ceramic is just the “overall” material. Like “pottery” is the overall object/art/act of making.

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Anonymous 0 Comments

well, throw each into google, if needed also do [this] vs [that]. These are all the first sentences of the first results

> Stoneware is a broad term for pottery fired at a relatively high temperature. Typically between about 1,100 °C (2,010 °F) to 1,300 °C (2,370 °F)

> Ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant, and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing an inorganic, nonmetallic material, such as clay, at a high temperature.

> Earthenware is glazed or unglazed nonvitreous (fancy word for “not glassy”) pottery that has normally been fired below 1,200 °C (2,190 °F). Basic earthenware, often called terracotta, absorbs liquids such as water.

> Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating raw materials, generally including kaolinite, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C (2,200 and 2,600 °F).

> Fine china most often refers to Porcelain

> Bone china is a type of vitreous, translucent pottery,[1] the raw materials for which include bone ash, feldspathic material and kaolin.

> Terracotta is a term used in some contexts for earthenware. It is a clay-based non-vitreous ceramic, fired at relatively low temperatures.

So, that clears up most things

China is Porcelain from chinesse culture, bone china is china with bone in the ceramic

Terracotta is unglazed Earthenware

Stoneware is anything fired at high temperature.

And it is all Ceramic, which is the broad classification of all of it.

Anonymous 0 Comments

>I suspect ceramic is just the “overall” material.

Good enough for a general understanding, but “ceramic” also covers some weird modern materials that aren’t obviously similar to pottery.

Okay, so *clay* is a material made up of very tiny particles of a certain class of mineral. Smaller than sand, smaller than silt, and it has a stacked-layers structure. Because of their structure and size, especially in the presence of water, these particles interact to behave, well, like clay: kind of sticky, kind of slippery (depends on the amount of water), squishy, etc.

What we often do with clay is form it into a shape (say, a *cup*), dry it out, and then *fire* it by putting it in a very hot oven called a kiln. But exactly (well, approximately) how hot the kiln gets makes a big difference. The general rule is, the hotter you fire your pottery, the more water-resistant it is.

In English, we generally talk about *earthenware,* fired at low temperatures (below 1200°C), stoneware (1100°C to 1300°C) and porcelain (above 1200°C, up to 1400°C). There’s some overlap there because you can use different clay mixes and they transform at different temperatures.

Earthenware is characterized by being water-absorbent: if you dunk it in a bucket, it’ll soak up water. Stoneware doesn’t; its clay particles melted together enough to keep the water out.

What about porcelain? Well, that’s when you get a very pure clay made of one very specific mineral called *kaolin,* and you fire it to a very high temperature. Because [chemistry], this makes a really good material that’s translucent, strong and tough, which doesn’t so much mean that you can’t break it, but that you can make it thinner than other kinds of pottery, and still keep the normal amount of durability.

Okay, a rundown of some specific terms you asked about (or didn’t):

Bone china: a special kind of clay that was meant to mimic porcelain (which came from China, hence the name, and the Europeans hadn’t figured out how to make), that uses bone ash in the clay mix.

Terracotta: Basically just coarse earthenware, especially when it’s not used for table dishes.

Faience: a popular kind of glazed earthenware that was used for moderately-fancy dishes in the 1700-1800s. (It’s faience when it’s French or south European, and Delftware when it’s Dutch or English.)

Vitrification: when the clay particles all-the-way (ehhhh) melt together, making the resulting pottery water-resistant.

Glazing: a glassy coating that’s melted onto the surface of pottery, usually in a second round of firing in a kiln.