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What Are Pottery And Ceramics

People usually ask me, “What is the difference between pottery and ceramics?”. Are pottery and ceramics the same thing, or is there a distinction?


The simple answer is: Both are almost certainly the same item, yet there is a distinction. Both of them utilize clay to make a range of objects. Pottery is made from clay and is typically porous, which allows water and other chemicals to seep through it and affect the object’s shape and color. On the other hand, Ceramics are made from a harder material like bronze and are not porous.

Both have long been an essential aspect of human culture. People used to use utensils made of a certain type of clay primarily. One More difference is Ceramics are made of clay, Glaze, and other elements, whereas pottery is made entirely of clay.

Below we have defined both Ceramics and Pottery in detail:

What Are Ceramics?

Ceramics, in general, are non-metallic solids formed from a mixture of clay, earthy materials, powders, and water that are permanently molded and then hardened by heating at high temperatures.

These items are extremely fragile, and even a slight stroke can cause them to break. These products become stiffer when wet projects are heated at a high temperature.

The Glaze is also ceramic, which is a form of glass. When glass is put on a clay piece and heated to 300-800 ℃, it adheres to the object’s surface and hardens to be unbreakable with a little force.

Industrial level ceramics are slightly more costly and harder than typical clay ceramics that do not contain other ingredients.

Advanced ceramics are created by combining cement, glass, silicon carbide, zirconium oxide, and other elements.

Moreover, Ceramics are produced in many different styles, shapes, and sizes. Ceramics can be found in many different forms, from the traditional pottery wheel to the hand-crafted Porcelain of fine china. There are ceramic tiles, stoneware, brick, pottery, wall tile, floor tile, roof tile, fireproof tiles, kitchenware, tableware, bathroom ware, etc. Ceramics is a very versatile material.

What is Pottery?

Pottery is the study of the art of producing pots, vessels, dishes, and other things out of clay. Pottery, in general, is a sort of ceramic manufactured of traditional clay. Porcelain, Stoneware, and Earthenware are the three primary types of pottery. 


Earthenware is one of the oldest techniques for making decorative things out of traditional clay.

Clay pieces are relatively porous and require special attention to prevent harm. After that, the clay is burned at a low temperature (1000-1150C).

After burning, the objects are covered with Glaze (a glass powder) coating to provide them additional strength. The pieces are then burned to ensure that the glass coating adheres to the clay.


The stoneware is also made of clay and fired over high temperatures (1200C). No need to cover these objects with glass. These objects are non-porous and harder than Earthenware. The glass layer can be applied for decoration purposes. 


Also known as white ceramic, Porcelain is a hard and transparent material. To make items, you need to grind the granite and feldspar with the white clay. At the same time, pouring the combination of these substances into the water to make them flexible to shape them into objects.

These resultant items are heated at 1200-1450 degrees Celsius. The glass layer can be utilized to decorate the items’ visual look. 

Bone China:

Bone China is also known as fine china, and it is formed by combining feldspar minerals and fine silica sand with white clay. After that, the objects are burned at a high temperature.


How can I make pottery?

There are many ways to make pottery. The most common way is to use a wheel. You can also make pottery by hand. Check Full making guide.

What’s the best way to fire pottery?

You can fire pottery in an electric kiln or on a stove. But Kilns are not cheap and can cost thousands of dollars. Before you purchase a kiln, research what kind of kiln is right for you and what you plan to do with your pottery. Kilns are available in many shapes and sizes, but you need to choose one that fits your budget and space.

Final Verdict:

Pottery is made by hand from clay, a mixture of natural minerals. The potter can use wheel or hand tools to shape the clay into whatever form they desire. The potter can also create designs on the surface of the pottery. In the past, pottery was made with mud, but today, it is made from clay. It can be made into vases, bowls, plates, pots, cups, and jars. Ceramic is a hard, brittle material made from clay and other minerals. It is used for decorative items and also as an art form.

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Jennie Deckow

Jennie Deckow is a renowned Professional in making Pottery and Ceramics. She has Followed her Childhood passion for making Potteries. Nowadays, she is a creative part of the potterycrafthub Team.

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