Talk:Stoneware

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Reasons for change[edit]

“Absorbs up to 5% moisture” The more common use is water rather than moisture

“Porcelain from 0 to 3%” By definition porcelain is vitreous and so absorbtions above 0.5%, to allow for surface water on the test piece, shows open porosity

“sand” This is a size of particle and not a mineral, rock of chemical

Flux Surely feldspar would be better

“temper” Should be explained what this is, note the hyperlink lead to “article not found”

Spodumene & wollastonite Their use is not nearly as widespread as quartz which is not listed

“Porcelain from 0 to 3%”[edit]

I still object to using simply 0 percent in the article - a range would be more appropriate. Although many modern porcelain bodies near the ideal 0 percent porosity, this was not true in historic times. Chinese porcelains were particularly good and some actually approached zero, but did not achieve it. In all pottery articles, we should make a clear distinction between the modern, chemically refined materials we are blessed with and the "naturally" occuring materials past potters had to work with. Sand, i.e. flint/silica, in your list above is another example of a historic material. Pottery and other ceramic materials are very important in history and archaeology -- and the science related to them sometimes varies quite a bit from culture to culture. Best.........WBardwin 06:42, 2 February 2006 (UTC)


Hello WB, Thanks for the comments, and to respond “I still object to using simply 0 percent in the article - a range would be more appropriate. “ Porcelain has long been universally recognised as being vitreous. This is enshrined in international standards and by convention. Without going into perhaps excessive detail about the merits and values from water absorption determination a vitreous product should exhibit zero percent. If the water absorption is upto 3% as shown in the previous entry then the item far from vitreous, and therefore does not correlate with definitions of porcelain.

Consider why a user would look up porcelain ... one reason is to find out what it is. However why not include details that some ancient examples may not have been fully vitrifed in a section of historic examples or the development of the material

“In all pottery articles, we should make a clear distinction between the modern, chemically refined materials we are blessed with and the "naturally" occuring materials past potters had to work with.” I’d generally agree though: 1) In appropriate sections or with clear headings 2) Sand, i.e. flint/silica. To ensure clarity explantion would be needed that sand is simply particle size and not a mineral although it is commonly used to refer to quartz of a particularly size range. Also if silica, quartz and flint are noted these terms would need to be explained as they each refer to different materials 3) The use of “chemically refined” is both unncessary and wrong. The raw materials used for ceramics, especially bodies, are most commonly rocks & minerals but not chemicals. Also whilst many raw materials are subject to extensive benification processes but these would not be described as chemical processes. Why not simply substitute “refined” for “chemically refined”

“Pottery and other ceramic materials are very important in history and archaeology” Unquestionably so these should have there own section

“science related to them sometimes varies quite a bit from culture to culture.” The underlying science is constant but knowledge and understanding can be different

Also expansion of "Stoneware is a category of clay and a type of pottery" would perhaps be useful as 1) it is all too easy for clay body and clay to be confused 2) there are a number of ways used to categorise clays including a. Origin - Primary & secondar b. Mineral type - kaolinite, smectite, illite etc c. Application - stoneware, brick etc

In advance of any changes I have also recently contributed to the Discussion on Porcelain and Pyrometric cones ... any thoughts?

Regards Andy

Water absorbtion[edit]

Quote Fired stoneware absorbs up to 5% water that is way too high. That would make article porous when stoneware is vitreous or at least very low absorbtion. I suggest this is changed Theriac 16:50, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

I would agree. WBardwin (talk) 03:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Recent IP edits[edit]

I reverted recent IP edits trying to "pare" down the article's mention of other clay types. That does not mean the section could not be rewritten to better reflect the actual differences between stoneware and other clay types. This individual may be the same IP user who wants no mention of or links to other methods or procedures on select pottery pages. I've been reverting these type of edits for some time, but the individual does not come to the talk pages when requested. This "purist" approach may have some benefits, but part of Wikipedia's purpose is to help people move from article to article. This may be particulary true in the small "wiki-corner" occupied by pottery articles. I would support a rewrite this section. WBardwin (talk) 03:54, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Is stoneware chip and scratch resistant?[edit]

Can someone tell me if stoneware is chip and scratch resistant? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 76.28.14.69 (talk) 20:02, 9 June 2008 (UTC)

Ceramic not clay[edit]

\i have removed "category of clay" as it is not. \it is a ceramic, which by defintion has been fired, Occassionally a clay body is described as stoneware clay but this is an oversimplification/misnomer/misunderstaning. What this description actually means is a clay body that when fired appropriately forms stoneware. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.159.53.77 (talk) 14:33, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

I restored the deleted category. In common terminology -- clay bodies are divided by characteristics such as plasticity, porosity and firing temperature. Stoneware clays are distinguised from earthenware and porcelain clays just as fired stoneware is distinguised from the products of other clay types. The definition and differences between ceramic, ceramic art, potter and clay have been hard to come to at Wikipedia. Each editor seems to have his own perspective, perhaps due to the fact that most of us have widely different training at different "clay" centers around the world. If you would like to contribute to the discussion, IP 86.159.53.77, please go the the pottery talk page or reply here. Best wishes. WBardwin (talk) 03:58, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
I will not revert now, but you are mistaken on a number of counts: for example clay bodies can not be divided by porosity as it is only after firing that porosity will be present. Porosity is not a characteristic of clay. It is characteristic of ceramic, and it is influenced by a range of factors including chemistry & mineralogy of the clay body and the making method & firing schedule. As I explained above stoneware is ceramic, and the terminology of stoneware clay is, at best, a simplification. I would be happy is some form of expansion was given to cover this but wholly oppose the inclusion of errors / oversimplifaction that is saying that stoneware is clay.
I have just noticed that a new reference has been added. Did the person read it? It is horridously flawed, for example: "porcelain, also known as china clay or kaolin." and "Bone china, a mixture of 95% kaolin and 5% bone ash." Why do I start:
  • Porcelain is type of ceramic. It is not a type of clay.
  • Bodies which are used to make porcelain contain more than kaolin, including quartz, feldspar, sometimes a little ball clay, and depending on where in the world also some pottery stone. Very often the amount of kaolin is less than 50%.
  • Most bone china bodies are approx. 50% bone ash, with the rest being feldspar and kaolin.
I am amazed that The History Channel could published so bad as that. Still perhaps they should stick to making documentaries about WWII and the Nazis, which seems to be the majority of their output! —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.42.223.54 (talk) 14:59, 16 June 2008 (UTC)
Although the use of stoneware to describe a type of clay body is incorrect (and it most definitely is not a type of clay) I have modified the introduction to reflect this occasional, if unfortunate, useage.


Please can the anonymous editor above provide references for his assertion that stoneware is not a type of clay? There 99,000 google references to "stoneware clay" and all ceramic suppliers stock "stoneware clay" Wikipedia relies on secondary sources remember. Teapotgeorge (talk) 16:35, 16 June 2008 (UTC)

Hello Teapotgeorge - I have already explained that "stoneware clay" is a simplifcation for a body that when appropriately fired forms stoneware. (and knowing I am slipping towards flippancy when there are a similar number of Google hits for "the moon landings were faked.") Please think about what happens when "stoneware clay" is fired at a low temperature -> earthenware.
This is all common usage -- which is generally the standard for Wikipedia articles. Terms such as stoneware bodies, stoneware clays, finished stoneware have been used by potters for decades, at least, and continue to be used. People with more rigid definitions are often chemists or geologists. If that is the case with this "anon" editor, please provide a source for your more "scientific" definition. Thank you. WBardwin (talk) 01:38, 17 June 2008 (UTC)
Clearly the History Channel reference is baloney. I will therefore edit to use what are as close to be definitive references as ist is possible to get:
  • Stoneware - The Combined Nomenclature is "Stoneware, which, though dense, impermeable and hard enough to resist scratching by a steel point, differs from porcelain because it is more opaque, and normally only partially vitrfied. It may be vitreous or semi-vitreous. It is usually coloured gret or brownish because of impurities in the clay used for its manufacture, and is normally glazed." The Dictionary Of Ceramics, third edition. Dodd A. The Institute of Materials. 1994.
  • Stoneware - a vitreous or semivitreous ceramic ware of fine texture, made primarily from nonrefactory fire clay." Standard Terminology Of Ceramic Whiteware and Related Products. ASTM Standard C242. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.162.165.47 (talk) 16:50, 10 July 2008 (UTC)


This Article is not what it sais it is[edit]

Sorry, this might have been a confusing way to say it, but this article talks a bit about stoneware, but then next paragraph seems to veer off to talking about earthenware, then the next paragraph is about "clay" in general, then it goes into talking about Glaze. This article about "stoneware" maybe should stick with the subject, and another article started on "Methods and materials of Pottery" or something. Just a suggestion. thanks. 76.177.52.79 (talk) 04:06, 18 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree. The article is about stoneware so the reference to earthenware, porcelain, clays and glaze should be removed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 86.162.165.47 (talk) 16:56, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

History of Stoneware[edit]

I have added a new section, on the history of stoneware. Enjoy. Facial (talk) 02:05, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

And would like to comment on: "As a high-fired ceramic, stoneware is notably more difficult to produce than the earthenware and terra cotta readily seen in prehistory. However, it is only slightly less difficult to produce than porcelain, with the only essential difference being the material composition of the latter. For example, the off-white stoneware made in Siegburg, Germany beginning in the second quarter of the 14th century has a completely fused body with a very low porosity of 0.4%, predating the European replication of porcelain by only three centuries. In contrast, technology transfer of earthenware production from Mycenae and the Near East occurred many thousands of years before this."
  • References are needed.
  • "As a high-fired ceramic" What does this mean? If this means high temperature then it is incorrect. In respect to ceramics stoneware is not fired to high temperatures.
  • "stoneware is notably more difficult to produce than the earthenware" Is it? How .. because I am not aware that it is.
  • "technology transfer of earthenware production from Mycenae and the Near East occurred many thousands of years before this" What technology transfer? For example, was pottery developed in one place then the technology transferred elsewhere, or was it developed independently in different locations?
I apologise because I know the above are critical. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 210.54.238.178 (talk) 07:08, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Formulation ambiguous and has bad souce[edit]

plastic fire clays 0–100%, ball clays 0–15%, quartz, 0–30% feldspar and chamotte 0 –15%

Which of the following should I understand that as:

  1. Contains an unspecified amount of quartz. Contains 0–30% feldspar. Contains 0–15% chamotte.
  2. Contains 0–30% quartz. Contains 0–15% feldspar and chamotte.
  3. Contains 0–30% quartz. Contains an unspecified amount of feldspar. Contains 0–15% chamotte.

The comma after quartz suggests #1, but that means the percentage for feldspar is before the item, rather than after it like the others. If I expect consistent percentage positions and expect every item to have a percentage, that makes #2 more likely. I went to check the source, but the source is given as "E-Learning item – Body Compositions. Ceram Research." I'm not familiar with the type of thing is being cited there. CERAM Research Ltd seems to be a company (located in The Potteries). Does "E-Learning item" refer to a page on their website? If so, which page?  Card Zero  (talk) 11:43, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

German links[edit]

The English article here links to the German Steinzeug. The German Steinzeug AND Steingut link to the English article here. The German Steingut article says that it was invented in England (at a date much later than Steinzeug). That being the case, what then is the English name for Steingut?211.225.33.104 (talk) 05:04, 9 January 2014 (UTC)