Types of earthenware
Although body formulations vary between countries and even between individual makers, a generic composition is 25% ball clay, 28% kaolin, 32% quartz and 15% feldspar. Earthenware is one of the oldest materials used in pottery. After firing the body is porous and opaque, and depending on the raw materials used will be colored from white to buff to red.
Earthenware articles may sometimes be as thin as bone china and other porcelains, though they are not translucent and are more easily chipped. Earthenware is also less strong, less tough and more porous than stoneware, but is less expensive and easier to work. Due to its higher porosity, it must usually be glazed in order to be watertight.
There are several types of earthenware, including
Earthenware is commonly biscuit (or "bisque") fired to temperatures between 1000 and 1150 °C (1800 and 2100 °F), and glost-fired (or "glaze-fired") from 950 to 1,050 °C (1,742 to 1,922 °F). However, the reverse — low biscuit and high glost firing — can sometimes be found: this can be popular with some studio potters where biscuit temperatures may be 900 to 1,050 °C (1,652 to 1,922 °F) with glost temperatures around 1,040 to 1,150 °C (1,904 to 2,102 °F). The exact temperature will be influenced by the raw materials used and the desired characteristics of the finished ware. Higher firing temperatures are likely to cause earthenware to bloat.
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- 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