Types of ceramics


Ceramics are, in simple terms, just fired clay, but the materials and composition can differ depending on the type of ceramic.

Depending on the type of ceramic, the properties can differ to achieve a different outcome. Pottery is created using porous clay, while ceramics are made from a finer type of clay. Ceramics are heated/fired at a higher temperature and are harder and less porous than pottery.

There are two categories of ceramics. Utilitarian and decorative.

As the names suggest, utilitarian ceramics are for a purpose, such as bowls and cups. Decorative ceramics are ornamental, like vases and figurines.

You can travel to every corner of the world and come across ceramics of all kinds. They have been around for thousands of years, and the craft is still popular today.

Ceramics is a broad term used to describe a wide variety of products. The word itself comes from the Greek term for potters clay, Keramos.


Porcelain is associated with white dishes in most people’s minds, and whiteness symbolizes cleanliness and prosperity in the home. Porcelain manufacturing necessitates a specific set of skills. Thin, translucent, yet quite resistant, they are white. When banged on, porcelain goods make a high-pitched shrill

Porcelain is made from sand, kaolin, and feldspar. The material has no pores after being fired, thus it has a low (up to 0.2%) water retention. 

Because of the high temperature of 1250 degrees Celsius, porcelain is glazed, with a translucent layer. The brilliant whiteness of the glaze is a result of the presence of tin oxide. 


Faience is a form of ceramic that often gets mistaken for porcelain. The term faience comes from the city of Faenza in Italy. Once known for its production of ceramics in Italy.

Faience is porous and requires a good glaze. It is fired at a temperature of between 900 to 1200 degrees. One place famous for producing Faience is Portugal, as they have massive deposits of clay to produce faience.

Points covered so far:

-Ceramics are fired clay that comes in many shapes and sizes

-Porcelain is a type of ceramic made from sand, kaolin, and feldspar

-Faience is a porous ceramic that needs a good glaze

-Faience is often mistaken for porcelain because of its resemblance

What is Fireclay?

Stoneware is a ceramic made from chamotte, also known as fireclay. It’s fired at a temperature of 1200 degrees Celsius, and its mineral makeup leads to improved strength. 

Fireclay is fired at high temperatures because of its mineral content. And when fired at high temperatures, the color of the glaze changes.

Fireclay is restricted in design compared to ceramics covered with a low-temperature glaze.

Stoneware is most frequently utilized as a heat sink when the temperature drops dramatically. It’s great for lining stoves and fireplaces, as well as being used as a finish on freezers or ovens.


Majorca pottery is made from pre-fired clay. The name majolica is derived from Faenza, Italy, where potters started using tin glazes to decorate their wares in the late fifteenth century.

They used lustrous transparent colors, achieved by adding copper, and cobalt compounds to the glaze. The tin oxide was then added to the glaze recipe to produce white Majorca ware, where it reacts with the elements in the clay producing a sheen on the fired surface. And in most cases, a lead glaze is used, to give added durability.

History of ceramics

Many historians agree that ceramics may be the first artificial material created by man. This means that the history of ceramics goes back to ancient times. 

The oldest ceramic object that has come down to our time dates back to 29 – 25 thousand years BC. This period corresponds to the Upper Paleolithic era and the heyday of the Gravettian culture. 

In 1993, near the city of Ganzhou in Jiangxi Province (PRC), pots were discovered and created around 19-20 thousand years ago. 

The development of ceramics as an artform appeared simultaneously in many locations. And according to sherds from a pointed vessel discovered in the Yuchanyan cave. Their age is about 18,000 years old.

Around the same time, ceramic ware began to spread throughout Asia. Ceramics in Japan were at their golden age during the Jomon period. 

Their designs set them apart from other East Asian artists’ work. They have rounded forms with embossed surfaces and grooved impressions. 

In China, ceramics became fashionable during the 8th century BC. It’s most common in agricultural regions like Xianzhendong, Pengtoushan, Peiligang, and Laoguantai.

The thin walls of Chinese ceramics are distinctive. Many vessels on hollow pallets with “ears” have survived to this day. As have numerous vessels on thin-walled ceramic platters. They were all painted in some way.

The territory of Russia has also yielded ceramic shards. The Ust-Kareng culture’s archaeological site in Transbaikalia is the major source. 

Ceramics was, nevertheless, created in the Far East (Siberian Neolithic). In the 7th century BC. Clay was mastered in the Middle Volga region (Rakushechny Yar) and Rostov region (Elshanskaya culture).

Ceramic items were produced, originally, entirely by hand. Only about 5,000 years ago did the potter’s wheel appear. This allowed for greater labor productivity and made the task of the artisan simpler. 

Europeans arriving in North America taught the American Indians about the potter’s wheel only after they had inhabited the continent for a long time. And when new types of materials emerged, production processes advanced, as did processing conditions.

Dishes, pots, whorls, and weaving weights are examples of ancient ceramics preserved over time. They strove to elevate domestic ceramics since ancient times. 

A relief was created with non-sculpting elements such as stamping or tracing to enhance the vessels. The vessels were natural in hue. Depending on how hot the kiln was, clay changed color. Ceramics were often decorated, with colorful glazes during the Renaissance era.

Only towards the close of the 16th century was Majolica introduced to Europe. 

Majolica shards have two glazes. First, it is coated with a tin-based opaque glaze. Then with a transparent glaze containing lead.

The surface of Majolica was applied with raw glaze. The pigments in the composition were made from metals oxides, but the chemical makeup was similar to that of the glaze. 

Europeans learned to make high-temperature paints (blue, yellow, green, and purple) during the 18th century. Muffle paints were not initially used but may be applied after the glaze has been fired, up until then.

Stoneware began to spread in Germany. The manufacturing period dates back to the 16th century. White ceramics were produced in Siegburg, while colored pieces were created in Rören. 

However, due to the Swedish occupation, the production of ceramics in these cities was phased out, shortly after 1700. When clay is combined with feldspar and heated to 1200 degrees Celsius, it becomes stoneware.

The invention of Faience 

The invention of faience is credited to the Romans. 

In England, the material was first coated with a white glaze. The British have been producing various degrees of Faience since the 18th century, when soft Faience, was made from clay with lime. The shards were more durable if there was less lime in the mixture. Faience that is entirely free of lime has some characteristics comparable to porcelain.

Uses of Ceramics?

Ceramics for interior design.

Ceramics are popular as interior décor. The variety of hues allows you to incorporate ceramic decorative components into a variety of areas, including the bathroom, kitchen, living areas, bedroom, and hallway.

Decorative panel

Decorative ceramic panels can add variety to any space’s interior, ranging from the full spectrum of hues and textures to a color accent or emphasis on the expressiveness of the inside. 

It’s a monolithic image or mosaic, with a plot illustration in full size. After painting, an additional layer of glaze is applied on top, giving it a distinctive sheen.

Ceramic bathroom panels can be decorated with seaside motifs. Waterfalls, seascapes, and reservoir dwellers look attractive. Kitchen panels often have a plethora of still lifes. Custom-made ceramic artists can create living room wall panels from copies of famous paintings or photographs.


Furniture fittings manufactured of ceramics is a design movement popular today and is an area designers are working hard to advance it. 

For example, designed in the style of ancient aristocracy or French Provence, handles, hinges and locks with intricate decorations will look fantastic.

The fittings must be wear-resistant, making the production of load-bearing structures time-consuming. Handles can be configured in a variety of shapes and forms. 

A classic is ceramic versions that imitate aged metal. Color accents are well suited to the pop art style, and strict geometric forms and silver-colored bodies are well suited, to the current design.


Bowls, pots, amphorae, sculptures, and figurines are examples of ceramic accessories. They’re generally filled with a design that depicts a house’s interior in one direction or another. Painted ceramics often decorate the living room.

Figurines are more connected to Indian culture. And used in the manufacture of lampshades and other electrical equipment. Ceramic plates can be used as wall decorations, but there is no pattern for this, and there are no ready-made solutions available. It all relies on the ceramist’s and designer’s imagination.

Mirror frames

Inlaid mirrors are yet another application of ceramics in the home. Large mirrors call for huge ceramic edging and inserts. . Handmade framed mirrors, are often seen hanging throughout the hallway.

Floor coverings

Ceramic tiles can be used on a variety of surfaces. A bright floor with contrasting hues will be used in this area, which will be decorated with neutral wall and ceiling decorations. Modern painting methods enable 3D tiles to be created. 

Finishing of stairs and pediments of fireplaces

A fireplace has long been an essential element of a home’s interior. Ceramic decoration creates a sense of warmth and comfort in the room. 

Painted tiles, if desired, can be utilized. They are resistant to temperature changes and retain their color range. The use of ceramic tiles to decorate stairwells is a relatively recent concept. You can construct entire three-dimensional galleries with ceramic tiles.

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