all primitive pottery whatever the color, all terra-cottas, most building bricks, nearly all European pottery up to the seventeenth century, most of the wares of Egypt, Persia and the near East; Greek, Roman and Mediterranean, and some of the Chinese; and the fine earthenware which forms the greater part of our tableware today.
Pit fired earthenware dates back to as early as 29,000–25,000 BC. Outside East Asia, porcelain was manufactured only from the 18th century, and then initially as an expensive luxury. Earthenware, when fired, is opaque and non-vitreous, soft and capable of being scratched with a knife. The Combined Nomenclature of the European Communities describes it as being made of selected clays sometimes mixed with feldspars and varying amounts of other minerals and white or light-colored (i.e., slightly greyish, cream or ivory).
1 Characteristics 2 Production 3 Types of earthenware 4 References 5 Further reading 6 External links
Generally, earthenware bodies exhibit higher plasticity than most
whiteware bodies and hence are easier to shape by RAM press,
roller-head or potter's wheel than bone china or porcelain.
Due to its porosity, earthenware, with a water absorption of 5-8%,
must be glazed to be watertight.
Modern earthenware may be biscuit (or "bisque") fired to
temperatures between 1,000 to 1,150 °C (1,830 to 2,100 °F)
and glost-fired (or "glaze-fired") to between 950 to
1,050 °C (1,740 to 1,920 °F), the usual practice in
factories and some studio potteries. Some studio potters follow the
reverse practice, with a low-temperature bisque firing and a
high-temperature glost firing. The firing schedule will be determined
by the raw materials used and the desired characteristics of the
Historically, such high temperatures were unattainable in most
cultures and periods until modern times, though
Chinese earthenware tomb sculpture. The Walters Art Museum.
There are several types of earthenware, including:
Terracotta: a term used for a rather random group of types of objects, rather than being defined by technique Tin-glazed pottery, or Faience
Victorian majolica Creamware
^ ASTM C242 – 15. Standard Terminology Of Ceramic Whitewares And
^ Getty AAT, "Earthenware"
^ a b c d Dora Billington, The Technique of Pottery, London:
^ David W. Richerson; William Edward Lee (31 January 1992). Modern
Ceramic Engineering: Properties, Processing, and Use in Design, Third
Edition. CRC Press. ISBN 978-0-8247-8634-2.
^ Rice, Prudence M. (March 1999). "On the Origins of Pottery". Journal
of Archaeological Method and Theory. 6 (1): 1–54.
^ a b
Combined Nomenclature of the
Rado, P. An Introduction to the Technology Of Pottery. 2nd edition. Pergamon Press, 1988. Ryan W. and Radford, C. Whitewares: Production, Testing And Quality Control. Pergamon Press, 1987. Hamer, Frank and Janet. The Potter's Dictionary of Materials and Techniques. A & C Black Publishers Limited, London, England, Third Edition, 1991. ISBN 0-8122-3112-0. "Petersons": Peterson, Susan, Peterson, Jan, The Craft and Art of Clay: A Complete Potter's Handbook, 2003, Laurence King Publishing, ISBN 1856693546, 9781856693547, google books
Digital Version of "A Representation of the manufacturing of earthenware" — 1827 text on the manufacture of earthenware Short film on pottery making around the world Tin-glazed earthenware livery-button, ca 1651, Victoria & Albert museum jewellery collection
v t e
Glossary of pottery terms
Base minerals, and glazes
Alquifou Clay Feldspar Frit Kaolin Petuntse Slip Glaze materials: Ash glaze Lead-glazed Tin-glazed Salt glazed Lusterware
Main types, by body
Earthenware Terracotta Stoneware Porcelain Fritware Egyptian faience Ironstone Jasperware
Pinching Coiling Moulding Wheel throwing RAM pressing Slipcasting
Processes and decoration
Burnishing Glazing Kiln Firing Bisque firing Saggar Pit firing Slipware China painting Blue and white Celadon Black-figure Red-figure Malwa ware Jorwe ware Black and red ware Painted Grey Ware Northern Black Polished Ware Rang Mahal ware Kakiemon
History of pottery
China Ancient Greece Ancient Rome Pre-conquest Americas Maya Japan Korea Islamic Persia Delftware Faience Tilework Studio pottery Individual works List of studio potters Potters by nation