What is ceramic? Ceramic is of or relating to the manufacture of any product (such as earthenware, porcelain, or brick) made essentially from a nonmetallic mineral (such as clay) by firing at a high temperature.
Humans have created ceramics dating back to 24,000 B.C. This predates the use of metals. Advanced ceramics take into account the toughest and strongest components known. Today in this post, we mainly focus on introducing the types of ceramics used in tableware.
Earthenware are considered the longest established form of pottery, way back in the Stone Age. Earthenware is considered the softest form of pottery, being fired at the lowest heat. It absorbs water, porous as well as scratched easily.
To make it waterproof, they wrapped it in a glass-like liquid known as vitreous, and then they re-fired it in the kiln. Clay has iron that used for the making of earthenware that provides a shade that ranges from buff to cream, dark red, black, or grey, in accordance to the amount available as well as the oxygen content in the kiln during the process of firing. This type of pottery can be as thin as porcelain and less tough, strong, but more porous than stoneware. In general, this type of pottery is fired at high temperatures of 1000 to 1200 degree Celsius.
This type of pottery is dense and has a character that resembles stone after being heated; this is why it called stoneware. This pottery is impermeable or waterproof and normally opaque. In the natural condition, it is grey; however, it turns brown due to the firing process, and different colors might be then used in the type of glazes.
In general, this type of pottery is fired at high temperatures of 1000 to 1300 degrees Celsius. This is utilized in the making of commercial ware. On the other hand, it is also preferred by renowned artists in the making of fine art pottery. The first stoneware was made during the time of the Shang Dynasty in China. First, it appeared in Germany in the fifteenth century. Afterward, in the seventeenth century, a ceramicist in English first started making a salt-glazed type of stoneware. The development followed in the eighteenth century when the man called Josiah Wedgwood made black stoneware or basalts and the Jasperware or white stoneware.
The disparity between stoneware and porcelain is vague. Stoneware varies from porcelain as it opaque and usually just partially vitrified. It is fired at high temperatures. China is the main origin of porcelain.
Porcelain is broken down into various classifications such as:
- Hard-paste or also known as true porcelain: It has added mineral materials to the clay, normally mica. It is fired at high temp and results to tougher and harder objects.
- Soft-paste: This is the least or low type of porcelain. This was discovered by European who fired at lower temps. It is regarded as a fragile or low type of porcelain. The best thing about it in spite of being low quality is that it does not require a fixed mineral to be made.
This replaces true porcelain in today’s time. It is considered the toughest type of porcelain. It is also very resistant to chip damage. It has remarkable physical strength and normally generates a white and translucent result. It has bone ash, kaolin, phosphates as well as feldspar.
Later, ceramicists such as Josiah Spode tweaked the usual formula by putting in powdered bone ash to create bone china- a typical form of porcelain that is less prone to damage like chipping. What is more, it comes with an ivory-white appearance.
As mentioned earlier, ceramics are everywhere and play an important role in people's daily lives. At EUNA, you can find the four types of ceramic tableware mentioned above. Each piece of tableware is handmade and has its own characteristics. From part-glazed to fully finished, these stunning ceramic pieces will update your tabletop completely!