Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery. The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products." In archaeology, especially of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" often means vessels only, and figures etc. of the same material are called "terracottas". Clay as a part of the materials used is required by some definitions of pottery, but this is dubious.
Longquan celadon (龍泉青瓷) is a type of green-glazed Chinese ceramic, known in the West as celadon or greenware, produced from about 950 to 1550. The kilns were mostly located in Lishui prefecture in southwestern Zhejiang Province in the south of China, and the north of Fujian Province. Overall a total of some 500 kilns have been discovered, making the Longquan celadon production area one of the largest historical ceramic producing areas in China. "Longquan-type" is increasingly preferred as a term, in recognition of this diversity, or simply "southern celadon", as there was also a large number of kilns in north China producing Yaozhou ware or other Northern Celadon wares. These are similar in many respects, but with significant differences to Longquan-type celadon, and their production rose and declined somewhat earlier.
A figurine or statuette is a small statue that represents a human, deity or animal, or in practice a pair or small group of them. Figurines have been made in many media, with clay, metal, wood, glass, and today plastic or resin the most significant. Ceramic figurines not made of porcelain are called terracottas in historical contexts.
Earthenware is glazed or unglazed nonvitreous pottery that has normally been fired below 1200 °C. Basic earthenware, often called terracotta, absorbs liquids such as water. However, earthenware can be made impervious to liquids by coating it with a ceramic glaze, which the great majority of modern domestic earthenware has. The main other important types of pottery are porcelain, bone china, and stoneware, all fired at high enough temperatures to vitrify.
Faience or faïence is the conventional name in English for fine tin-glazed pottery, at least when there is no more usual English name for the type concerned. The invention of a white pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an oxide of tin to the slip of a lead glaze, was a major advance in the history of pottery. The invention seems to have been made in Iran or the Middle East before the ninth century. A kiln capable of producing temperatures exceeding 1,000 °C (1,830 °F) was required to achieve this result, the result of millennia of refined pottery-making traditions. The term is now used for a wide variety of pottery from several parts of the world, including many types of European painted wares, often produced as cheaper versions of porcelain styles.
In different periods of time and in different countries the word majolica has been used for two distinct types of pottery.
Biscuit porcelain, bisque porcelain or bisque is unglazed, white porcelain treated as a final product, with a matte appearance and texture to the touch. It has been widely used in European pottery, mainly for sculptural and decorative objects that are not tableware and so do not need a glaze for protection.
Royal Doulton is an English ceramic manufacturing company dating from 1815. Operating originally in Vauxhall, London, later moving to Lambeth, in 1882 it opened a factory in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, in the centre of English pottery. From the start the backbone of the business was a wide range of utilitarian wares, mostly stonewares, including storage jars, tankards and the like, and later extending to pipes for drains, lavatories and other bathroom ceramics. From 1853 to 1902 its wares were marked Doulton & Co., then from 1902, when a royal warrant was given, Royal Doulton.
Chinese ceramics show a continuous development since pre-dynastic times and are one of the most significant forms of Chinese art and ceramics globally. The first pottery was made during the Palaeolithic era. Chinese ceramics range from construction materials such as bricks and tiles, to hand-built pottery vessels fired in bonfires or kilns, to the sophisticated Chinese porcelain wares made for the imperial court and for export. Porcelain was a Chinese invention and is so identified with China that it is still called "china" in everyday English usage.
Burmantofts Pottery was the common trading name of a manufacturer of ceramic pipes and construction materials, named after the Burmantofts district of Leeds, England.
Etruscan art was produced by the Etruscan civilization in central Italy between the 10th and 1st centuries BC. From around 750 BC it was heavily influenced by Greek art, which was imported by the Etruscans, but always retained distinct characteristics. Particularly strong in this tradition were figurative sculpture in terracotta, wall-painting and metalworking especially in bronze. Jewellery and engraved gems of high quality were produced.
Sancai is a versatile type of decoration on Chinese pottery using glazes or slip, predominantly in the three colours of brown, green, and a creamy off-white. It is particularly associated with the Tang Dynasty (618–907) and its tomb figures, appearing around 700. Therefore, it is commonly referred to as Chinese: 唐三彩 Tang Sancai in Chinese. Tang sancai wares were sometimes referred in China and the West as egg-and-spinach by dealers, for their use of green, yellow, and white, especially when combined with a streaked effect.
Shiwan ware is Chinese pottery from kilns located in the Shiwanzhen Subdistrict of the provincial city of Foshan, near Guangzhou, Guangdong. It forms part of a larger group of wares from the coastal region known collectively as "Canton stonewares". The hilly, wooded, area provided slopes for dragon kilns to run up, and fuel for them, and was near major ports.
Pottery was produced in enormous quantities in ancient Rome, mostly for utilitarian purposes. It is found all over the former Roman Empire and beyond. Monte Testaccio is a huge waste mound in Rome made almost entirely of broken amphorae used for transporting and storing liquids and other products – in this case probably mostly Spanish olive oil, which was landed nearby, and was the main fuel for lighting, as well as its use in the kitchen and washing in the baths.
Majapahit Terracotta is the terracotta art and craft dated from Majapahit era circa 13th to 15th century. Significant terracotta earthenware artifacts from this period were discovered in Trowulan, East Java.
Redware as a single word is a term for at least two types of pottery of the last few centuries, in Europe and North America. Red ware as two words is a term used for pottery, mostly by archaeologists, found in a very wide range of places. However, these distinct usages are not always adhered to, especially when referring to the many different types of pre-colonial red wares in the Americas, which may be called "redware".
A set of life-size glazed pottery sculptures of luohans usually assigned to the period of the Liao dynasty (907–1125) was discovered in caves at I Chou in Yi xian or Yi County, Hebei, south of Beijing, before World War I. They have been described as "one of the most important groups of ceramic sculpture in the world." They reached the international art market, and were bought for Western collections. At least eight statues were originally found, including one large fragment which was long thought to have been destroyed in Berlin during World War II, but has been sighted in Russia recently.
Ceramic art is art made from ceramic materials, including clay. It may take forms including artistic pottery, including tableware, tiles, figurines and other sculpture. As one of the plastic arts, ceramic art is one of the visual arts. While some ceramics are considered fine art, as pottery or sculpture, most are considered to be decorative, industrial or applied art objects. Ceramics may also be considered artefacts in archaeology. Ceramic art can be made by one person or by a group of people. In a pottery or ceramic factory, a group of people design, manufacture and decorate the art ware. Products from a pottery are sometimes referred to as "art pottery". In a one-person pottery studio, ceramists or potters produce studio pottery.
Tang dynasty tomb figures are pottery figures of people and animals made in the Tang dynasty of China (618–906) as grave goods to be placed in tombs. There was a belief that the figures represented would become available for the service of the deceased in the afterlife. The figures are made of moulded earthenware with colour generally being added, though often not over the whole figure, or in naturalistic places. Where the colouring was in paint it has often not survived, but in many cases it was in sancai ("three-colour") ceramic glaze, which has generally lasted well.
American art pottery refers to aesthetically distinctive hand-made ceramics in earthenware and stoneware from the period 1870-1950s. Ranging from tall vases to tiles, the work features original designs, simplified shapes, and experimental glazes and painting techniques. Stylistically, most of this work is affiliated with the modernizing Arts and Crafts (1880-1910), Art Nouveau (1890–1910), or Art Deco (1920s) movements, and also European art pottery.