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From the article: "A couple of decades ago, Toyota researched on producing a ceramic engine which can run at a temperature of over 6000°."

How many decades ago, and is that 6000°C or 6000°F? Kind of important. Bryan Derksen

Has to be 6000°F. 6000°C is up to solar temperatures. Edited to include the F. Don't know any more about it, although 6000F is still incredably high. I can only find a couple of materials with a melting point in that range or higher (tungsten (6010F), Diamond (6240F) and Hafnium carbide (6940F)). Even with HfC (which, might I add, I've never actaully heard of being used anywhere), that's stil close to the melting point, it would have to have pretty serious mechanical properties at that temp to be usable (not unknown, nickel superalloys can be used up to about 30°C from it's melting point, but damn rare), particularly considering that it's got to contain the explosions. Plus, to run an engine at over 6000°F your talking about buringing something exotic like tiahn is best oxy-acetalyne, or possible hydrolox. My suspicion is that the engine is a petrol engine made of ceramics that have a melting point over 6000°F, and not that it can run over 6000°F. Granted, my experience is in the electrical ceramics, and not the structural, so I'm going to leave it in, pending research. Syntax 05:13, 23 Jan 2004 (UTC)

So I did a bit of research, and came up with an article that was after the 80's and not published by toyota or, by my knowlege, associated with toyota. It was published by M.W. Woods, P.C. Glance, and E. Schwartz in SAE 1990 and titled "Advanced Insulated Titanium Pistons for Adiabatic Engines". they described an adiabatic engine with cylinder walls at 1000°C or about 1830°F. I would also agree with the above individual what stated 6000°F is a ridiculously high temperature for most modern ceramics to maintain mechanical strength, and I would love to have seen the nuclear reactor toyota sintered that engine block in. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:29, 13 April 2009 (UTC)


Right, bit of a major update there. Notable points:

1) My spelling sucks. Plus, I tend to the British spellings. 2) Traditional cermaic crafts are over at pottery. MatSci ceramics are here. Anyone forsee any problems with that? 3) I've tried to pitch the entry at the right level. Please holler if something is unclear - I'm too used to writing technical stuff on this. 4) Did I mention my spelling sucks?

Syntax 23:11, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

handicrafts: ceramics[edit]

An interesting article but I cannot understand why it has been included under handicrafts. More appropriately it should be under science of materials. I think the author is also puzzled by this classification. Pottery is also known as ceramics. It is simply that one word has an Old English origin and the other a Latinate origin. They both used to refer to the same craft/product and have done so for many centuries. See the OED. People working as artists with clay may choose to be known as potters, ceramists, ceramic artists, ceramicists or clay workers. Those who choose to identify as potters usually produce work that can be used in some way as well as appreciated for its intrinsic beauty. Potters also make one-off pieces. Nonetheless they may still choose to identify as potters. I suggest you refer to William Morris, Bernard Leach, Soetsu Yanagi and the Mingei movement in Japan which will give a philosophical background to this choice. Ceramic artists may either be people who have trained in ceramics, acquiring skills in both the making and designing of art works in clay (which may well be referential to the long and rich history of ceramics) or they can be artists like Grayson Perry who simply choose clay as one of several media in which they work. There is also a growing tendency to place ceramists under visual arts and design rather than art or pottery. I would suggest to the editors that there be entries under both categories (pottery and visual arts and design). Maybe artists/potters and their work could be listed under visual arts and design and practical/technical information under pottery with cross-referencing to each. Karen Weiss

negative resistance[edit]

These are devices that exhibit the unusual property of negative resistance. Once the voltage across the device reaches a certain threshold, there is a breakdown of the electrical structure in the vicinity of the grain boundaries, which results in its electrical resistance dropping from several mega-ohms down to a few hundred.

This confuses me. I understand that, as explained at negative resistance, negative resistance can be taken to mean merely that current is a decreasing function of voltage in a particular region of the current-voltage curve. But the above doesn't describe that. In fact it describes a situation where current in increasing greater than linearly with voltage. So if these materials really have negative resistance, the above does not describe their behavior. Josh Cherry 01:52, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)

  • Or maybe I'm just confused. Does a given voltage actually have two possible values of voltage in some regions for these devices, with slopes of opposite signs? Josh Cherry 02:14, 25 Jun 2004 (UTC)
  • You're quite right, the resistance drops sharply at high voltage, but the resistance (both V/I and dV/dI) remains positive.
  • That is confusing. The device you refer to is called a varistor, for variable resistor. A varistor has a change in resistance when it is subject to relative high voltage to its device rating. The term variable is misleading. Once the arrester is hit with high voltages its performance continue to degreed and it is irreversible.

The basis of an arrester, and this would make a good article is to fail like a fuse, but not on the same principle of a fuse, and protect its more expensive part. These arresters are also termed lightning arresters fail when there is lightning nearby. They normally fail as 99% or more when there is a lightning direct hit. The part it is protecting is also often destroyed.

Anyway, a ceramic component called an MOV Block, also called Metal Oxide Varistor (Variable Resistor). Ceramics such Zinc Oxide, Cobalt Oxide, and other oxide ceramics are manufactured though a ceramic process (see Ceramic Engineering).

After the blocks are manufactured and put into a surge arrester the arrester has as a kV value that is directly related to the number of blocks with its own kV value put in a stack. Put simply a 10 kV arrester has three, 3.3 kV blocks.

A 36 kV arrester has 12, 3 kV blocks.

Now going through all that, this industrial part example may explain the confusion.

- A surge in terms of a voltage strike crosses a line. If the voltage is <3000 V and the arrester is a 3 kV arrester. The arrester absorbs the spike, but it "weakens" so the initial resistance has degraded to a new lower resistance, due to the internal rearrangement of the grains. The arrester can withstand spikes over 3000 V, which is over voltage. Again, the durability of the part is unique to each part due to many factors. The over voltage will weaken the part, but may not cause it to fail.

-Not only do spikes cause degradation on an arrester, but also that the arresters are powered up as part of the circuit they are in.

-When the arrester has been hit repeatedly with surges and is in operation over a "long time" as in many years, it degrades to where it no longer arrests spikes, and the equipment it protecting is now subject to degradation. However, their can be a second layer, such as surge redirection to ground. or third layer of protection like a circuit breaker. The arrester is cheap, cost effective, efficient device and effective in protective sensitive parts..

-Note, your surge protecting multi-plug test strip warn that after the a warning signal shows as in it has been hit with a surge, they recommend you repair or replace the unit. There is a good reason for that. The company I worked for made arresters for those very same protection strips.

-As for the phrase of "these devices" I believe what I explained is one example of what the phrase alluded to.

Deekayfry (talk) 06:37, 21 May 2008 (UTC)

Why have the refractory and elec properties been removed?[edit]

I thought the content before 9 March 2005 was quite relevant


There's a decent, but incomplete article on sintering that I tried to improve until I saw the excellent section of this article. Perhaps there should be a link and some moving of content?--Joel 22:56, 26 May 2005 (UTC)

Move Ceramics to Ceramic?[edit]

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Should this article not be entitled Ceramic instead of Ceramics. Right now Ceramic redirects to Ceramics, but I think it should be the other way around --b4hand 20:34, 4 October 2005 (UTC)

Agree. Ceramics seems to violate WP policy on plural article titles. And since I don't see any other discussion or reason for it, I'm being bold. -dmmaus 06:27, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
Oh, darn, it's not that easy. The existing redirect blocks the renaming. I'm listing on WP:RM. -dmmaus 06:32, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

The above discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section.

Building construction vs. Pottery...[edit]

Can reach a better separation between the "Fine arts" subject of "Ceramics" and the building material? I have created a new but short page: "Ceramic material" for building stuff. Sorry about the I18N chars corrupt. I am fixing it now. -- Fplay 23:20, 20 December 2005 (UTC)

It's more than just "building material". Ceramic materials are used for a lot of different things in engineering. At a glance, this article seems to be entirely about the engineering usage of the term, and not at all about the art form. In your new category scheme, this article, as-is, should be the "main article" for Category:Ceramic materials. Category:Ceramics does not currently have a main article as far as I know.--Srleffler 00:38, 21 December 2005 (UTC)
The following discussion is an archived debate of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the debate was move no consensus. Simply put, while the vote below was exactly balanced, votes are evil and the collective singular noun takes precedence here IMO. —Nightstallion (?) 08:24, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Votes may be evil, but you should have declared the result to be no consensus.--Srleffler 12:29, 19 January 2006 (UTC)
Fair enough; changed that. —Nightstallion (?) 13:01, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Requested move - 2006[edit]

Ceramics → Ceramic – plural to singular in accordance with WP:NAME. Redirect at Ceramic has history preventing simple move.


Add *Support or *Oppose followed by an optional one-sentence explanation, then sign your vote with ~~~~
  • Support Straightforward naming policy. dmmaus 06:40, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose Ceramics is a singular noun (at least in the USA), akin to Mathematics, not the plural of ceramic. You don't say "one ceramic, two ceramics". —Wahoofive (talk) 06:44, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per my comment in discussion. Since "ceramic" is the adjective and "ceramics" is the noun, I'd follow the example of Metallic (adj) redirecting to Metal (noun). If you disagree with my comment in discussion, please do reply and explain why! --Lox (t,c) 14:50, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose. "Ceramic" is much more commonly an adjective, and Wikipedia policy discourages page names that are adjectives. "Ceramics" is correctly the singular noun for the art of production of ceramic materials. One can talk about "a ceramic", referring to a type of material, but this usage is not as common as the other two.--Srleffler 17:04, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Oppose as per other comments. olderwiser 23:03, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Ceramic is a category of noun called "collective singular", similar to Plastic, Furniture, Information, etc. While they are indeed singular, we do not use them in the context of "a [something]" but "a piece of [something]" or "an item of [something]." The OED supports this. Ebenbrooks 17:27, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support The page isn't about the art of pottery, and there doesn't seem to be any compelling reason to ignore the OED as to usage of "ceramic" as a singular noun.Jamused 03:49, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment, likewise, I see no compelling reason to ignore either the Cambridge dictionary or the Merriam-Webster dictionary. I must admit, I'm slightly bemused that the dictionaries, from my reading, give different impressions. Perhaps someone could check my references and see if they read differently? --Lox (t,c) 08:14, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment Actually, the Merriam-Webster online says that ceramic as a noun is "plural but singular in construction", in other words it's a collective singular as Ebenbrooks has pointed out. The American Heritage Online agrees with the distinction between "ceramic" the singular noun meaning the material or an object made of ceramic, and "ceramics" the plural noun used with singular verb meaning the art of making objects of ceramic. The Cambridge online dictionary is the Learner's, and presumably incomplete by design. Really, though, it's not a matter of majority rule among the dictionaries; the OED attests to the fact of ceramic used as a singular noun and cites examples going back to 1859. As I read it Wikipedia naming policy favors use of the singular unless the singular form doesn't exist, as with "scissors"; it does not propose a balancing test based on frequency of use, or contributors' sense of their regional dialects.Jamused 14:48, 17 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Support: ceramic is correct as a collective singular noun, like "cereal". More pragmatically, it simplifies inline linking, since we can always write [[ceramic]]s for the plural. Jonathunder 10:32, 17 January 2006 (UTC)


Add any additional comments
  • Comment
The term "ceramic" is
  • an adjective describing an object that has been made from clay and baked
The term "ceramics" is a
  • Singular noun that refers to production of ceramic materials
  • Plural noun that refers to ceramic objects
(References, Cambridge online dictionary, Merriam-Webster online dictionary)
When you vote, please bear in mind that should choose the word that describes the article best, since this is (in my opinion) not a simple of case of singular / plural nouns --Lox (t,c) 14:46, 14 January 2006 (UTC)
  • Hmmm. Sorry, I didn't realise this point of usage. Here in Australia a ceramic (singular noun) is an object made of ceramic (also singular noun). My dictionary agrees with me. This is a bit like sport (British English) vs sports (American English). I'm happy for the proposed move to fail, if this point of usage is noted in the article. (I can add it myself.) -dmmaus 10:02, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
    • Please check the edit I just made. I think American English also does have 'ceramic' as a noun for a type of ceramic material. e.g. Porcelain is a ceramic. Also, I assume all of the usages except the singular noun for objects made of ceramic are common to both American and Commonwealth English. The preceding unsigned comment was added by Srleffler (talk • contribs) 13:21, 16 January 2006.
      • I think the edits that the two of you have made are very good and clear this situation up very well! Thanks for your contributions! --Lox (t,c) 13:58, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
      • Yeah, looks good now, thanks! -dmmaus 22:01, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
  • As I stated in the voting above, Ceramic is, indeed, a singular noun, but of the curious form called "collective singular". Collective singular nouns are nouns that describe either a plurality of objects or an undifferentiated, undefined quantity of something. Other nouns that fit this classification include Pottery, Information, Furniture, Clay, Plastic, and (in some uses) even Paper. The OED supports this use of Ceramic, and even American English uses it quite commonly. If you require citations, I can provide. Ebenbrooks 17:34, 16 January 2006 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the debate. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


Change and reasons From “Earthenware, which is made from potash, sand, feldspar and clay.” Why? Because it’s not To “Earthenware, which is often made from clay, quartz and feldspar.” Why? Because it is! Regards, Andy


Hello all, I've added an the ASTM definition of ceramics ... or at least ceramc article Regards, Andy[edit]

Hello Thank you for your comments but cement is produced by the action of heat on raw materials, and therefore would comply with the listed definition. To quote from the wikipedia entry on Portland cement “ ...and similar materials are made by heating limestone (as source of calcium) with clay or sand (as source of silicon) and grinding the product (clinker), with a source of sulfate (most commonly gypsum). “

As an aside whilst the catergorisation of cement as a ceramic material is agreed by some it is not universal



Hello again,

Whilst the final articles, such as concrete blocks, do not require the action of heat the manufacture of cement does, and therefore complies with the listed definition. Please see the wikipedia entry on Portland cement. Should you still not be happy with this please use the talk pages rather than changing the entry

Please have a look at hwere you will see it noted that temperatures of up to 1450˚C are found in the kiln to produce cement Regards, Andy


what is ceramic? i want to teacher ask me and friends to do a research on ceramic


Have you read the article to which these talk pages are attached? It contains a useful definition: “The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) defines a ceramic article as “an article having a glazed or unglazed body of crystalline or partly crystalline structure, or of glass, which body is produced from essentially inorganic, non-metallic substances and either is formed from a molten mass which solidifies on cooling, or is formed and simultaneously or subsequently matured by the action of the heat.” Rememebr if you do use this you need to give a proper citation

Regards, Andy


Hi all, I've just re-read the article, and thought about "Historically, ceramic products have been hard, porous and brittle." Call me stupid but what ceramics are not hard & brittle? Regards, Andy

At room temperature most ceramics are hard and brittle. At elevated temperatures that's not necessarily true--glass for example. 18:28, 4 January 2007 (UTC)Julia

But the description does not mention temperature Theriac 16:36, 5 January 2007 (UTC)


Any chance some mention of what ceramin is can be added to the article? I don't know personally, but I have seen it mentioned in various places. Aristoi 19:43, 6 December 2006 (UTC)

Stoke on Trent Museum[edit]

Hi Cbdorsett. I don't think it POV to have use the phrase "The finest collection of Staffordshire ceramics in the world" as

  • It is.
  • These are the words used by the museum itself, and which is a non-profit, non-commercial organisation that is a globally respected authority. (and one I have no association with!)

ThanxTheriac 16:56, 20 February 2007 (UTC)

Calling something the "finest" is necessarily putting a value judgment on something, and I think it's out of place here, especially since there is a perfectly fine, neutral way to describe the collection. Cbdorsett 17:01, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Hi Cbdorsett. But by not using the full description readers will not be aware of significance of the collection (and this is surely undisputed) and so may not realise why it is worth listing ThanxTheriac
Good point. Let me suggest that you read Wikipedia's POV policy Wikipedia:Neutral point of view. Then figure out a way to word the description so that it attracts people, without starting off a competition about who's the "finest", "greatest," "most ..." etc. Cbdorsett 19:34, 20 February 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, Theriac. It's much better now. :) Cbdorsett 17:16, 22 February 2007 (UTC)
ThanksTheriac 17:26, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

Isn't this why we have the lead-up phrase "One of the..." - really bugs me when people use it lol —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:08, 26 October 2008 (UTC)

Image needs replacement[edit]

Hello all...

An image used in the article, specifically Image:DSCN0126.jpg, has a little bit of a licensing issue. The image was uploaded back when the rules around image uploading were less restrictive. It is presumed that the uploader was willing to license the picture under the GFDL license but was not clear in that regard. As such, the image, while not at risk of deletion, is likely not clearly licensed to allow for free use in any future use of this article. If anyone has an image that can replace this, or can go take one and upload it, it would be best.

You have your mission, take your camera and start clicking.--Jordan 1972 (talk) 01:25, 2 October 2008 (UTC)


IP address keeps adding this reference with no explanation as to which bit of article it refers to?

- Tschegg, C., Ntaflos, Th., Hein, I., 2008. Thermally triggered two-stage reaction of carbonates and clay during ceramic firing - a case study on Bronze Age Cypriot ceramics. Applied Clay Science (in press).

Any ideas anyone? TeapotgeorgeTalk 17:48, 12 October 2008 (UTC)


I have been sorting out the caramics categories, adding new ones such as Category:French pottery and Category:Ceramics manufacturers of the United States and clearing out the vast number of articles on potters etc lazily dumped in Category:Pottery in particular. User: has objected to, and twice reverted, a number of removals from Category:Ceramics, without giving any reasoning - he says (my talk):" Thank you for the message. I do not understand your reasoning for your sudden and unilateral changes to long standing categories, my argument for restoration is based on maintaining the status quo until consensus is reached. I would be happy with slimmed down categories but this needs to be by agreement with the community. Therefore I will revert pending discussion and agreement. Regards. ". I had already referred him to WP:OCAT, and said (his talk): "There is no point in duplicating every article in Category:Pottery in Category:Ceramics. I moved many articles into the ceramics materials & pottery categories, and removed most of the duplication where the articles seemed concerned exclusively with pottery. Some of these might be debatable, but you have reverted many where it clearly is not, so I will revert all or most of your changes. Please produce reasoned arguments for further changes." For example he has restored Bird stump (is a variety of vase popular in 1920's England...) to Category:Ceramics, when I had moved it to Category:English pottery. I would welcome comments on this. Johnbod (talk) 14:58, 28 December 2008 (UTC)

Congratulations on starting this Herculean task. It is not made easier by the disputes between editors on the meaning of "ceramics" and "pottery" and the difference between them.
My own view is that the head category should be Category:Ceramics, which should have two sub-classes, (1) Category:Ceramic materials, including all manufactures other than the making of pottery, and (2) Category:Pottery, which should include both (2:1) useful objects made out of clay and similar materials and (2:2) arts which use clay (i.e., various forms of ceramic sculpture). This is fairly arbitrary, because the Oxford English Dictionary records that "ceramics" and "pottery" are used to mean the same thing, but classification has to be more or less arbitrary.
Within Category:Pottery can go categories for pottery by place, by type, by period and by process. I'm not too familiar with the structure of categories, but it would be most useful if a sub-category could be permitted to appear in more than one higher category if that is helpful (e.g. Faience can be categorised by the place where it is made and what it is made of).
I can't say anything about ceramic materials because that is outside my field of expertise.
As to which category an article should be put into, surely it is logical to put it into the lowest applicable in a hierarchy of categories, since it thereby falls automatically into every category above.
I hope that helps. Marshall46 (talk) 17:41, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
That is very much my view. There are some (about 20) articles which I think should remain in the main ceramics category, as straddling industrial uses & pottery. I have also taken "materials" rather literally & not moved the few bios of scientists from cat "ceramics". There is also Category:Porcelain of course, which additionally complicates matters, plus the manufacturers are in Category:Ceramics manufacturers - I haven't moved those without a by country sub-category from pottery, though perhaps I should. I also think the very lightly populated "ceramicist" categories should be merged or renamed as "potters", which they all seem to be. I hadn't moved Faience, though Egyptian faience, which I added to pottery & the Ancient Roman pottery category, removing it from Ceramics, has been readded there, as one of the reverts mentioned above. There are a number of other articles on different types of faience, & I wouldn't myself add the main article to say "English pottery", though I don't have very strong views on this. Johnbod (talk) 18:23, 28 December 2008 (UTC)
Hello Johnbod and Marshall46. Thank you for starting the discussion which, as I posted earlier, was my wish. I do not object to a reorganisation but I do believe this should follow discussion. I think my position is not that different that of you both, though I hope you do not object to a few comments in response to some of the above:
  • In any hierarchy on these subjects "ceramics" must be first and without equal. This is because the primary group that includes all the others, including pottery. All others would be subgroups of this primary whole.
  • A definition of "ceramics" would be easy to reference as there are professional bodies that haved agreed such. "Pottery" is less precisely defined but there are still viable definitions.
  • I would agree to shift "ceramicist" to "potters". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:46, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
I am broadly in agreement with the above editor. (As you have already shown yourself to be an active editor, you would help other editors if you logged on with a user name.) My only reservation concerns definitions by professional bodies. Professionals in any given field tend to make prescriptive definitions, ruling how technical terms ought to be used. For Wikipedia the descriptive definitions of dictionaries, which report how words are used, are better. I prefer the Oxford English Dictionary (which is now online). We have had a great deal of trouble in the field of ceramics and pottery from editors who want to make prescriptive alternations to common usage.
I agree that the appropriate category for people who make vessels and other useful objects out of clay ought to be Category:Potters But how do you classify artists in clay like Carol McNicholl, who was trained as a fine artist and is essentially a sculptor in clay? She is not simply a fine artist, to be excluded from Category:Potters altogether, because she once designed a range of pottery for the Next store, but she is not a potter, she is a ceramicist. Marshall46 (talk) 10:41, 29 December 2008 (UTC)
Hello. Thank you for continuing the discussion and the broad agreement, and as for defintions:
  • You mentioned the OED before advising it suggested that "ceramics" and "pottery" are the same. With the greatest respect to both you and that esteemed publication that is not correct. "Pottery" is a subgroup of "ceramics", whereas the latter is very large group. (it includes much that no one would classify as pottery, for example titanium carbide. This is discussed in the ceramic article of which this is the discussion page. In this "pottery" is described under the whiteware ceramics.)
  • There are defintions recognised across the world, and from respected and unquestionably authoritative organisations such as the ASTM and The Insitute of Ceramics (now part of IoM3 [[1]])
  • Is there any defintion, let alone one from a respected body for ceramicist, or ceramist which is another term that some times gets used?
  • As for the description you give of Carol McNicholl. Designing a range of Pottery for Next would suggest she be categorised as a "designer". Conversely, she could be categorised as a "sculptor." Alternatively she could be categorised as both.
  • To be a potter requires much more than making objects out of clay, as that alone is not pottery. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:35, 30 December 2008 (UTC)

That is precisely what I mean. You dissent from the descriptive definition given by the OED, which records usage, and prefer the prescriptive definitions of professional bodies, which you say are "correct". I don't think you quite grasp the difference between words and things or the nature of definition. What you say is so similar to what an anonymous editor has said in similar discussions elsewhere that I wonder whether you aren't the same editor. If you logged in with a user name it would make discussion easier.
Ceramics venn diagram.JPG
The OED and other dictionaries record how words are used. I accept the authority of the OED in lexicography and so I am satisfied that they accurately record common usage. If "pottery" and "ceramics" are used more or less interchangeably, then it is correct to say that the words mean more or less the same thing. Wikipedia is not the place to make a case for using common words differently from the way that most people use them. (Technical words are different matter.)
I agree that a potter does more than make things out of clay. I also agree that Category:Pottery ought to be a subset of Category:Ceramics.
"Ceramicist" (alternatively "ceramist") is a word used for artists who work in clay. Some potters would also call themselves ceramicists and some ceramicists would also call themselves potters. The relationship between the two is shown in the Venn diagram on the right. You may dislike the word "ceramicist", and I don't much like it either, but it exists, and it is the most appropriate description for some artists.
Hence, I think there ought to be two overlapping sets Category:Potters and a restored Category:Ceramicists, both of which are subsets of Category:Ceramics and are on the same level as Category:Pottery. Marshall46 (talk) 14:26, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Hi Marshall 46. Thank you for your reply, and:
  • Thank you for the agreement that Category:Pottery would be a subset of Category:Ceramics.
  • "which you say are correct." It is not I who say they are correct, rather academic, professional international authorities.
  • "What you say is so similar to what an anonymous editor has said in similar discussions elsewhere that I wonder whether you aren't the same editor." I do not know to whom you refer. I have not engaged in similar discussions elsewhere, nevertheless this is unsurprising if, as I thinking you are saying, that ceramic and pottery is claimed to be synonymous. (viz - should I write elsewhere that human beings can breath in outer-space it would not unexpected to receive more than one contradictory reply. Would this indicate just one person? Of course not - just a community correcting errors.)

I am surprised to read that the anonymous editor who wrote here that "ceramics, which must be the source of the word ceramicists, is an extremely large group of materials," and "pottery (which loosely correlates to whiteware ceramics)," is not the same editor who writes, "'Pottery' is a subgroup of 'ceramics', whereas the latter is very large group," and "'pottery' is described under the whiteware ceramics", especially as both wrote from IP addresses in Auckland, New Zealand. To make it plain that this is a community correcting errors and not just one person using a dynamic IP, perhaps he would like to log on with a user name. Marshall46 (talk) 14:51, 2 January 2009 (UTC)

  • "If pottery and ceramics are used more or less interchangeably" But they are not - I again refer you to the article to which this discussion page is attached.
  • "Ceramicist" and " but it doesn't matter." What does matter is what this word, or ceramist actually means. I refer to my previous question "Is there any defintion, let alone one from a respected body for ceramicist, or ceramist which is another term that some times gets used?"
  • "Wikipedia is not the place to make a case for using common words differently from the way that most people use them." I understand the criteria for inclusion in Wikipedia is veritability from recognised authorities. This can be provided for defintion of ceramics and pottery. I am unaware of any such for ceramicist or ceramist.
  • Without a recognised and accepted defintions both ceramicist & ceramist are unstable neologisms and so must be ignored. Please refer to [2] regarding the avoidance of such words.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:17, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oh please! "Ceramist - one skilled in making pottery, a ceramic artist" has OED citations from 1855, 1865 & 1875 in the original edn., whereas "ceramicist" does not appear until 1930, with the same definition. Johnbod (talk) 11:48, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
It is Category:Ceramists, which is still there (personally I think this is much the rarer version, no?). Johnbod (talk) 15:39, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for that correction. I don't know which is more common, "ceramist" or "ceramicist", but it doesn't matter so long as there is a redirect. Is that possible?
I now see that Category:Potters by nationality is a sub-category of Category:Potters and that Category:Ceramists by nationality is a sub-category of Category:Ceramists. Good. But shouldn't all the potters and ceramists be put under their nationality (if it is known) rather than the higher Category:Potters and Category:Ceramists? Marshall46 (talk) 20:19, 1 January 2009 (UTC)
That is merely a matter of setting up new categories & doing the sorting; no doubt many have just been put to the main cat & could go to existing ones already. I'm not currently planning to do any of that, but anyone can do it - you might find it easier if you load Hotcat. I think a redirect can be added. Ideally, if we are having 2 parallel hierarchies, there should be "see also" links added to the cat pages. Johnbod (talk) 11:40, 2 January 2009 (UTC)
  • We seem to be done here, so I will restore my edits, using rollback for convenience (please don't take offence), while I can still find them. Beyong that, I don't think I currently plan on doing any more of the work mentioned above that could certainly be usefully be done.... Johnbod (talk) 17:09, 4 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm happy for you to go ahead. When I have more time I will also try to make a contribution. Marshall46 (talk) 17:40, 4 January 2009 (UTC)

Category:Art pottery[edit]

I must say this new one seems a rather pointless category to me. In the wide sense of the term, the great majority of the pottery articles we have could be included, but only a handful are. A category with this name that contains Lladro but not Meissen, and no Asian articles, seems pretty misleading! It might be better to rename it to something like American studio potteries and place it under the US ceramic manufacters (minus Lladro etc). Any thoughts? Johnbod (talk) 15:29, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Part of this is a function of the parent article, ceramic art, which is a bit of an unwieldy mess. But the bigger problem is that Meissen isn't in it simply because I didn't get that far. I started with the American manufacturers simply because that was where I discovered the lack of a category; after Lladro I went to bed. Now I appreciate that there may be a terminological issue. "Art pottery" in the USA includes decorative ceramics and is consistently applied to people and manufacturers (Haeger, Van Briggle, etc.) who made such things. Whether Meissen's and Lladro's figurines and other decorative objects fall into "art pottery" is something we need to resolve. Lladro I included because their figurines are of the same ilk as the sort of things that Haeger (for example) produced, at least to my eye. I wasn't as sure about whether Lenox and Meissen and Wedgewood and the other big tableware makers should be included because they also made decorative pieces. I did omit American manufacturers who were known specifically for tableware (e.g. Fiestaware).
Using studio pottery as a parent article isn't going to work, however, American or not. According to our article, that refers to craft potters turning out singleton or small batch works; I think that's accurate, but it doesn't fit Van Briggle, the archetypal art pottery firm. Perhaps the thing to do is to split out art pottery as a separate article (it redirects now). I know next to nothing about the European non-craft-ish scene, much less the far east, and it's possible that the term "art pottery" only obtains in the USA. But it is a well-known term here which I think we have to deal with somehow; at any rate, I didn't find any existing category covering decorative ceramics. Mangoe (talk) 16:10, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
But almost all the pottery articles cover decorative ceramics! I'm aware of the Americanm term - I think in Europe it would be considered rather naff - which really doesn't mean much more than "expensive modern commercial decorative pottery", but like the cognate "designer clothes" etc, it is too slippery a term to use for categorization. Johnbod (talk) 16:30, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm not sure that the distinction between "ceramics" and "pottery" is strong enough to cover this, not to mention that "ceramics" gets all the manufacturers. Also, however "naff" it might be thought, there are are certainly British companies who are described in our pages as producing "art pottery" (e.g. Langley Mill Pottery), and there are others who produce that sort of ware, no matter how they style themselves. At any rate there is still the problem that "ceramics manufacturers" covers everything from Armitage Shanks to Hummel figurines, with tableware occupying a wide swath in the middle. We need to break this up somehow, so that the plumbing fittings, the dinner china, and the knick-knacks (designer or otherwise) don't end up in the same bucket.
Do we? Having been looking at these articles a lot, a surprising number have morphed between toilets and dinner-services over their history, and all the large dinner china companies are very keen on knick-knacks also, very often noit in porecelain. They are already divided by country, and none of the categories are huge. But a Category:Manufacturers of porcelain tree might be useful. Johnbod (talk) 02:24, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
As far as "designer clothes" are concerned, I do not feel that the analogy fits. "Designer" maybe gets us a difference between Corelle, Fiestaware, and Noritake, but it doesn't cover the difference between dishes and decorations. Mangoe (talk) 17:36, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't feel that is a useful or sustainable distinction in the wider field , even if it might work for American pottery c 1900. Both Sevres and Imperial Sung dynasty china were designed to be eaten off. Johnbod (talk) 02:24, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Art Pottery is an important and widely used term, particularly in the period before and after 1900; such as, for example Adelaide Robineau [3][4], who was one of the most important American potters of her time, and who amazingly does not seem to have an article. Of course there was factory production that called itself Art Pottery, but was not, so some discrimination is necessary. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 16:34, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

How many of the current articles should be there then? Would "Arts & Crafts movement pottery" not be better for this? Mangoe seems to be using a rather different meaning, as most of his selection were not making it at that period. Of course "discrimination" is just what categories don't do well. Johnbod (talk) 16:48, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Yes, "Arts & Crafts movement pottery" probably covers the same work. It would be good to have a redirect from Art Pottery to Arts and Crafts Movement Pottery. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:03, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Urrrm, not really. Van Briggle is best known for A&C/Art Nouveau stuff, but Haeger for instance is best known for Art Deco work. The difficulty is that as far as I know there isn't an overarching term for the whole A&C/Nouveau/Stickley/Deco/etc. complex of decorative/crafty styles. Mangoe (talk) 18:09, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

By the way, I have some doubts about dividing the field into "ceramics" (i.e. industrial), and "pottery" (i.e. artist and artisan work). The largest circulation pottery magazine published in America is called Ceramics Monthly [5]. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 17:29, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

That's why Pottery is a sub-cat of Ceramics. Johnbod (talk) 02:16, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
But the real reason why pottery is a sub-cat of ceramics is that ceramic pots are a subtype of ceramic things. Or to back into etymology, "ceramic" as a material is a generalization of fired clay as a material. Mangoe (talk) 11:57, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
As far as I know both Van Briggle and Haeger were factories producing mostly slip cast ware. Not at all in the same category with artists like Adelaide Robineau, or artisan tile producers like Moravian. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 18:21, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
That's exactly it, and that's why they don't go with studio pottery. Mangoe (talk) 19:15, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Okay. But how would you classify producers such as Moravian? Malcolm Schosha (talk) 19:19, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
It's not really studio pottery in the sense of the works being one-offs; looking at this there was/is an element of handcraftmanship to Moravian's tiles, but the result is in variation in finish on machine-made goods. It's a bit of a borderline case because (like most firms in the architectural business) there was always an element of customization in what they did. Mangoe (talk) 21:22, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
All of this shows the unsuitability of the term for a category name, as too subjective & not clearly defined. Johnbod (talk) 02:16, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I don't buy that; one troublesome case does not a category invalidate. The thing is that the collectibles people do have a clearly defined notion of "art pottery" and happily assign various manufacturers to it, so I'm not all that troubled that I personally am not the best explicator of this. I'm also not particularly concerned about the possibility that the Brits don't use the term, especially since there is evidence that they do use it to a degree. Besides, given a choice between an imperfect categorization and nothing, I'm right now much happier with imperfection; it seems to me that the roughness around the edges isn't going to be hurt by taking the matter a little broadly. Indeed, it's perfectly possible that those who use the term take "studio pottery" as a subset of "art pottery". Now that I've thought to look at eBay, they do categorize it exactly this way: "art pottery" is a category under "pottery and china", at the same level as "China & Dinnerwear"; "studio pottery" is under "art pottery", at the same level as the various named makers. Now, they lump all the dinnerware makers together in the same manner, which means that a lot of decorative objects from Wedgwood and Gorham et al. are filed under "dinnerware"; and there are other oddities about their "china" category. (They consign Lladro to "collectibles".) Nevertheless it seems to me that there is perfectly good evidence that the Real World sees a category of "art pottery" and knows what it is. Mangoe (talk) 11:57, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I support the maintenance of Category:Art pottery because it is a term commonly used to denote a family of decorative pottery, much of it late C19th. It's not something I know a lot about, but it seems to be used by principally by US collectors, who might reasonably expect to find such a category in Wikipedia. "Arts and crafts pottery" does not seem to be the usual expression.
Having said that, it seems that some of the articles at present included in that category ought not be be there - e.g., makers of utility wares, modern pottery factories, Studio pottery
There was a type of pottery marketed as "art pottery" in Britain in the late C19th/early C20th, e.g. that of the Martin Brothers, who are not at present under this category.
An article Art pottery (see below) would be helpful. Marshall46 (talk) 14:32, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
  • You two still don't seem close to agreeing what "art pottery" is; all cases seem "troublesome". I still think it is an unsuitable term for categorization, but if it is to stay it needs a note on the category page defining clearly what meaning for the term the category is intended to cover. Perhaps you could agree a draft of that here. Johnbod (talk) 14:54, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Fortunately, I'm sitting in an art library at the moment, and this is what I have found: "The term 'art pottery' has generally been used to describe a range of highly decorated work that was self-consciously artistic in its execution and rarely meant to be put to practical use. Art pottery was often produced under industrial or semi-industrial conditions, although some was made in smaller-scale workshops or studios. Many art potteries survived and thrived in the early decades of the 20th century, but the work is particularly associated with the late Victorian era." Jeffrey Jones, Studio Pottery in Britain 1900-2005, A&C Black, 2007, p.11. This is in an introductory chapter and Jones says that in comparison to studio pottery, "art pottery appears excessive and overwrought". He includes William de Morgan, Bernard Moore, Owen Carter, Cuthbert Bailey, William Burton, the Ruskin Pottery, Upchurch Pottery, Holyrood Pottery and Elton Ware. Seems a fairly well-established art-historical term and a suitable topic for Wikipedia.
I suspect that the American usage is different and may require disambiguation Marshall46 (talk)
Actually that's pretty close to the American sense (minus the condescension). The impression I get is that the phenomenon obtained on both sides of the Atlantic, but for whatever reason (and I'm going to guess that that reason is Stoke-on-Trent) it was vastly more important in the US and survived there longer (and indeed, still exists: Van Briggle and Haeger are still in business). I'm about to head over to the library for some references on the American scene. Mangoe (talk) 16:49, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Next step: write Art pottery[edit]

I had originaly taken "art pottery" as a synonym for ceramic art, but I think that at least temporarily it needs to be written up as a separate article. This may take a few days. Mangoe (talk) 12:10, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

I must say I can't yet see the point of Category:Ceramic art, since relatively few of the articles under the Pottery and Pocelain categories would not belong here, and the main Ceramics cat was now fairly neatly on one screen, so it seems a somewhat pointless side-branch of that. Johnbod (talk) 23:48, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Eek - nor do I like at all redirecting to the very weak ceramic art rather than pottery - and this should have been raised here first, especially since discussion is active. Johnbod (talk) 23:59, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Copy edit[edit]

I have copy edited the introductory paragraphs.

The article is called "Ceramic", but throughout reference is made to "ceramics", which is obviously the more familiar term. The title seems like an uncomfortable compromise between Pottery and Ceramic engineering. As they cover similar material, I am not clear why there is a long article on Ceramic and another on Ceramic engineering.

The opening definition is, "Ceramic is inorganic and non-metallic material formed by the action of heat." Surely that is not right: that would make igneous and metamorphic rocks ceramic.

The old Sanskrit root of the word "ceramics" is referred to but not given. Would someone who knows about it add the word, please? (A look at a dictionary of modern Sanskrit reveals no word for "burn" that sounds anything like "ceramic".)

This article needs a complete rewrite by someone familiar with the subject. It is totally confusing. There are several different classifications, obviously added by different editors, that bear no relation to one another. There are chunks of text that are incomprehensible to the lay reader (which is surely a major offence in an encyclopaedia) that seem to have been written to show off rather than to communicate. There is a section on solid state chemistry whose relevance is not clear. Marshall46 (talk) 14:04, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I find it puzzling that a technical, ceramic engineering, article should so cite so few sources, with virtually no inline sourcing. It seems as though the editors of this article think that wiki-links are sources. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 14:16, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

I've re-defined "ceramics" to make clear that heat is applied by human agency. I've also taken the new definition to Ceramics.
Rushing in where angels fear to tread, I suggest we re-organise as follows:
(1) A disambiguation page Ceramics that distinguishes
(1.1) Ceramic materials = the parts of this article that deal with materials and the science of ceramics
(1.2) Ceramic engineering = parts of Ceramic engineering + the parts of this article that deal with manufactured products
(1.3) Ceramic art, which remains as it is.
This scheme would avoid the ugly compromise word "Ceramic", whose unnaturalness is made plain by the fact that, after the first few paragraphs, it is never used as a noun.
It would also separate materials science from industrial products, which are indiscriminately jumbled together this article. (1.1) need contain no information about pottery except brief references to its scientific and technical aspects and (1.2) would contain only a brief reference and a redirect to Ceramics (art) or Pottery.
Categories would then be re-aligned as necessary to fit this scheme.
Marshall46 (talk) 15:33, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
As there was a big overlap between this article and Ceramic engineering, I have taken all information about ceramic engineering out of this article and put it in the other one, and I have taken all the information about ceramic materials out of that article and put it here. Marshall46 (talk) 20:50, 12 January 2009 (UTC)


Following on from the above discussions, I've created three sub-categories of Ceramics - Ceramic art, Ceramic materials and Ceramic engineering, and I've sorted the articles accordingly. Ceramics is now a high-level category with only a few sub-categories and articles in it. My reason for doing this is that the placing of very different sorts of article under Ceramics, which fall broadly into articles on ceramic science on one side and ceramic art on the other, has caused unproductive friction between editors whose main interests lay on one side or the other. At the same time I have tried to put forward a sourced, generic definition that should be acceptable to everyone: "Ceramics is the art and science of making things from inorganic, non-metallic materials by the action of heat".

If what I have done is acceptable, I think it would be sensible to re-name this article "Ceramic materials". Marshall46 (talk)

Requested move (2009)[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was No move Parsecboy (talk) 22:22, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

See the discussion above. Marshall46 (talk) 21:44, 13 January 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose Ceramics (which I might support a rename to) is a single subject, even if the uses of ceramics divide fairly sharply between pottery, low-tech industrial & high tech industrial. It should have a proper main article, not a disam page. At the same time, much of the material on materials could indeed go to a new "Ceramic materials" article, and this article here should have short sections on the major uses. So I'm really objecting more to the proposal to turn ceramic into a disam page than the one to have most of this stuff under "Ceramic materials". I've said above I also think Pottery should be the main article on that side of things, rather than ceramic art. I don't see evidence of recent "friction" between potting & scientific uses myself, in fact no editors concerned with the science side seem active here currently. Johnbod (talk) 00:59, 14 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose use Ceramics instead. (talk) 13:25, 15 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the same reason that metal and plastic are where they're located and not at "metallic materials" or "plastic materials". Ceramics should redirect here and a new disambiguation page made. --Polaron | Talk 19:14, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
  • Support. The article is mostly about high tech applications, and few of the materials that are discussed would recognize as ceramics by someone who is not a ceramic engineer. Therefore, I think that Marshall46's suggested move is reasonable. (Basics of a potters training in ceramic materials -- such as clay bodies formulated from silica, alumina and a flux -- are not even mentioned in this article.) Malcolm Schosha (talk) 19:54, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
But is it reasonable to leave ceramic/ceramics as a disam page? Johnbod (talk) 20:15, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
I think that would work better than what we have now. Malcolm Schosha (talk) 20:37, 16 January 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Comment on the poll[edit]

I think that Johnbod is right in saying that Ceramics should not be a bare disambiguation page and that it should summarise the entire field of ceramics. It should range from art through industrial pottery to materials science, with directions to main pages on all those topics.

Johnbod suggests that the main article on the ceramic arts should be called "Pottery". There is a strong case for that, and the distinction between the material in Ceramic art and Pottery does looks fairly forced at the moment. But Ceramic art is probably a more inclusive term than Pottery, and to that extent the main article on the topic ought to be called Ceramic art. Ceramic art is incomplete and covers only a small fraction of the topic. It ought to take in some of the material now in Pottery. The only justification I can see for a separate article on Pottery is that it describes hand-manufacturing processes at a level of detail unsuitable for Ceramic art; those could remain, with direction to main articles which go into more detail.

I suggest the following hierarchy of articles:

1 CERAMICS A new article, being an overview of the entire field

1.1 Ceramic
The article as it is now
1.2 Ceramic engineering
The article as it is now.
1.3 Ceramic art
The present Ceramic art article plus some of the material now in Pottery
1.3.m Detailed articles on various aspects of making
1.3.n Articles on makers, styles, etc.

As the consensus is opposed to an article called "Ceramic materials", we would have to find another way of distinguishing a new Level 1 article called "Ceramics" from the present Level 2 article called "Ceramic".

I will contribute when I have time. Marshall46 (talk) 09:35, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure there was concensus against a new Ceramic materials containing most of this article - I was explicitly in favour, & none of the other Opposes specifically mention this point (any comments now very welcome of course). "Pottery" is more inclusive than "Ceramic art" to the extent that it covers basic tableware etc from all contexts from archaeological to modern. I could live with the current "pottery" & "ceramic art", but they need more interlinking - until just now their leads did not refer to each other at all. To separate by process and the product as art seems a reasonable approach to me, and works well in terms of the wider scheme of things, as shown by the categories etc.

I would suggest:

1 CERAMICS - This article renamed, for which there does seem to be a concensus, plus material on missing areas, including pottery, minus most of the back end, which goes to a new:
1.1 Ceramic materials - mostly from here
1.1 Ceramic Engineering - as is
1.1 Pottery - pretty much as is
1.1 Ceramic art - much as is, but eventually better.

This also involves less work! Johnbod (talk) 16:18, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

I'd be happy with that. How much of the back end of this article would you take to Ceramic materials? I'd take all of section 3 and a great deal of section 2. Marshall46 (talk)
All of 2, leaving a summary, and some duplication. Johnbod (talk) 02:35, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
Agreed. It will go on my to-do list, but rather busy at the moment. Happy for anyone else to do it in the meantime. Marshall46 (talk) 15:07, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
I have done a quick split, bringing back some stuff cut over the last months. But it needs checking on the engineering side, & bulking-up as above. Johnbod (talk) 00:51, 21 January 2009 (UTC)


There is a statement in the first paragraph ceramic materials "are formed either from a molten mass that solidifies on cooling or by the action of heat." Aren't they the same thing? For a mass to be molten, it must have been heated in the first place. The phrase derives from ASTM International's document ASTM C 242, which I cannot read in full because it is not available free. Anyway, it makes no sense. Marshall46 (talk) 10:54, 12 February 2009 (UTC)

I have changed it. Marshall46 (talk) 09:48, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

You are right that (on the earth surface) a molten mass has been heated, but still there is a difference in production. The first production technique melts the raw materials. The second (the action of heat) refers to those materials that are not heated to the liquid state. Clays for instance undergo chemical reactions thus transforming the 2-D platelet structure to a three dimensional structure without melting. Otherwise they would collapse. Hubertrahier (talk) 11:15, 7 October 2010 (UTC)

Sanskrit root of the word "ceramic"[edit]

The opening paragraph says that the word "ceramic" "is related to the older Sanskrit root "to burn". This is doubtful. The Cologne Digital Sanskrit Lexicon give gives "abhidah" as the Sanskrit work for "to singe" or "to burn" and "abhitapta" for "singed" or "burnt". For "potter" it gives "kaulAla". Unless better authority can be given for a connection between "κεραμικός" or "ceramic" and the Sanskrit language, I propose to delete this sentence. Marshall46 (talk) 11:12, 13 February 2009 (UTC)

This statement is repeated hundreds of times on the internet, without any reference to the supposed Sanskrit root. I have now corrected it. Marshall46 (talk) 11:11, 14 February 2009 (UTC)

Are glasses ceramic or not?[edit]

In the article introduction, it is said that ceramic materials can be crystalline or non-crystalline, the noncrystalline ceramics being glasses. In the section on crystalline ceramics, it is said that glasses are by definition not ceramic. And then comes the section on non-crystalline ceramics, that is, glasses. Which one is correct? (talk) 16:22, 27 February 2009 (UTC)

I tried to re-formulate the introduction and the section on crystalline ceramics. I hope it is now clearer that two definitions need to be considered, depending on the circumstances. Ceramic scientists usually work with crystalline materials, and not with the amorphous glass. However, in its broadest sense, glasses belong to ceramics.--Afluegel (talk) 13:03, 28 March 2009 (UTC)
With regard to art objects, an artist usually understands ceramic material to be that clay-mineral material used to form shapes, while glass materials are often particulates in high concentrations suspended in clays and used for glazing. In a practical sense this often means forming an object in clay, firing it, then glazing it and firing it again for a vitreous surface. Some clays have high glass particulate concentrations or additions like frit and are used in single object firings such as Raku. Because of the expansion and contraction differences when exposed to high temperatures, clays and glazes are often not combined as a shortcut, but instead are used in linear fashion: first the clay, then the glaze. So as applied to art objects, your question's answer is: both are correct. It may be helpful to the reader to break the definition down a bit to show why both are correct. Sctechlaw (talk) 02:52, 15 June 2009 (UTC)

External Links[edit]

I have had the following external link removed twice from the ceramics main page:

Deruta is one of the capitals of ceramics and amongst the most important ceramics town in the world. It exports its products since 1282 and to the whole world. All lovers of ceramics know Deruta. Even China has set up a district called Deruta just to export copies of Deruta products.

DerutaNews is run under the strict patronage of the Deruta borough. It is independent and impartial. The object of inserting is as an external link within Wikipedia under the ceramics page (and under pottery) is very clearly to :

1. Make Deruta ceramics more widely known and thus protect its copyright 2. Substantially contribute to the advancement in the knowledge about ceramics art

It is unclear to me why this link has been removed. I have read the guidelines and it appears to comply, probably more than other links.

I should be grateful to learn about the reasons for its removal. Thank you, AlfredoSarich (talk) 20:06, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Take a look at this... [6] TeapotgeorgeTalk 20:56, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Hi Teapotgeorge. Thanks. I can not really understand your reference and I would really appreciate a clearer hint. Currently I read that your comment suggests the information in the newsletter is spam? I may be wrong of course but, if someone suggests that, what would be of some of the external links that now exist in the ceramics page ? What parameters are applied to eliminate an official link and maintain private ones? Excuse my ignorance as I am new to Wikipedia, but who controls the information flow here? Is there a supervisor? Thanks AlfredoSarich (talk) 22:42, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Task force Glass and Ceramics[edit]

Hi, currently I am collecting some information for setting up a task force for glass-related articles. As ceramics are closely related with glass, I was wondering, if there is interest in combining ceramics and glass within one task force Glass and Ceramics. I am suggesting, that such a task force should not only cover the engineering part, but also art and history.--Afluegel (talk) 20:42, 7 March 2009 (UTC)

Now the glass task force can be found at WP:GLASS, at present not including ceramics. This might change in future, however, if desired. -- Afluegel (talk) 13:07, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

vandalism report[edit]

I really don't do anything active on Wikipedia, but I noticed what appears to be vandalism in the ceramics article: surrounding text pasted below

Types of ceramic materials A i like to peepee in my kaka brittle, hard, strong in compression, weak in shearing and tension. They withstand chemical erosion that occurs (talk) 20:02, 16 March 2009 (UTC)SHB

Leading picture[edit]

When I think of ceramics, I don't think of teeth! :P Surely a more recognisable 'type' of what a ceramic is should be the 'lead' picture? I dunno, perhaps being picky here but just wondering what other peeps think. (talk) 18:46, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

personally I rather like the unexpectedness of it - and there is a big Ming vase just below. Johnbod (talk) 21:05, 21 March 2009 (UTC)
The pictures are good as they are, in my opinion. The reader is reminded that other types of ceramics exist, besides the traditional pottery.--Afluegel (talk) 13:10, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

{{Glass}} template[edit]

Hi, I just placed the {{Glass}} template on top of this discussion page. I do not mean by this that ceramics are glasses, but often ceramics have a considerable glassy phase at the phase boundaries, some ceramics are prepared via the glass route (glass-ceramics), and finally, the glaze applied to traditional pottery is a glass. In case you do not agree, just go ahead and remove the template again. -- Afluegel (talk) 13:18, 28 March 2009 (UTC)

I removed the template again, based on the feedback from an editor. -- Afluegel (talk) 20:27, 9 April 2009 (UTC)

Semivitreous redirect question[edit]

A question has arisen on Talk:Glass about the term "semivitreous." The term currently redirects to the glass article, but a quick scan of google seems to indicate that the term is more related to ceramics. Does anyone have an idea where this redirect should lead, or should it be deleted? Zaereth (talk) 21:57, 31 August 2010 (UTC)

The redirect has been changed to lead this article, so it might be useful to explain a little bit about it here. Below is the information I found about the term, but I'm not very familiar with ceramics, so I'm not sure just how to work the information into the article. Is vitreous porcelain considered a glass? Anyway, below is copied from Talk:Glass. Zaereth (talk) 22:00, 20 September 2010 (UTC)
"I took a little time to research this further. It appears from the books Engineering and contracting, Volume 58 and Firing ceramics that certain minerals like china clay or feldspar can be fired at much higher temperatures than typical earthware ceramics, yeilding products like vitreous porcelain. These are useful for making unglazed floor and roof tiles, as well as dinnerware like fine china, since all porosity has been removed and water absorption is practically zero. However, some coloring additives, mainly for reds, browns and blacks, cannot withstand such high temperatures. These are fired at lower temperatures than vitreous ceramics; high enough to eliminate most porosity but not to destroy the color. Semivitreous materials will absorb a tiny amount of water.
Most common dinnerware is semivitreous, because it is much cheaper to make than fine china. Semivitreous plates can be stacked in the kiln, one on top of another. To make vitreous porcelain, the plates must be separated using tools called "Kiln furniture."" Zaereth (talk) 22:00, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

Some clarification by a person knowledgeable in fired materials needed![edit]

Some clarification by a person knowledgeable in fired materials (ceramics?) would be helpful. Half an hour of expert time focused on these articles will be of great value. (All references are within Wikipedia.)

It started with a simple reading about a “China Doll” that led me to the Bisque Doll article. However, as I read more, I got stuck in some inconsistencies about the terms, methods, and materials used in fired materials. I am not sure if “ceramic” applies to Bisque Dolls (compare Bisque (pottery) which puts bisque in earthenware because of its porosity, a prized characteristic since Bisque can be painted with simple acrylic paints. Yet the multiple painting and multiple firing of the Bisque Doll could not be done with acrylic paints. This I can say with certainty: a specific inconsistency is found by comparing temperatures for firing bisque materials when a simple comparison is made using the following Wikipedia articles.

Bisque Doll is fired, often repeatedly, “at more than 1260 °C (2300 °F)”

Bisque (pottery) is usually fired “at least 1000°C, although higher temperatures are common.”

The Porcelain article really spins things around by noting “Unlike their lower-fired counterparts, porcelain wares do not need glazing to render them impermeable to liquids.” Then we read: “Like many earlier wares, modern porcelains are often biscuit-fired at around 1,000 degrees Celsius, coated with glaze and then sent for a second glaze-firing at a temperature of about 1,300 degrees Celsius or greater.” All this in the introductory “Scope” section; Things get even murkier further along.

The “Hard-paste porcelain” article gives us “Hard-paste porcelain is now differentiated from soft-paste porcelain mainly by the firing temperature, with the former being higher, to around 1400°C, and the latter to around 1200°C.” and I still have no clue if Bisque is hard or soft paste. My best guess is most likely it is neither, being these terms to not apply to Bisque at all.

I stopped and posted these thoughts. HELP!! EXPERT HELP ME & MY GRANDCHILD!!

All four of these articles need review and probable edit to gain consistancy in the reported temperatures and likely to gain consistancy in usage of basic terms.

I readily accept that many of these obscurifications are just semantics and with common use and technical use only rarely the same. Still, for a grandkid working on a report, deciding which temperature to use is impossible. It is equally clear that nailing down more facts for a report is even harder. Now there are many windows or portals that are used to approach Wikipedia and many uses of if contents. If there is one window critical to the acceptance of Wikipedia in academics (especially primary grade schools) it is the window of a person, not an expert, indeed not even knowledgeable about a subject, who comes to Wikipedia for a 2 or 4 page report on a topic. The consistency between articles was legendary for World Book and Britannica. And it must be so for Wikipedia, at least as a goal. RockyCliff (talk) 20:32, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

True porcelain is fired at cone 6, or 2246F, although it can be fired higher. As greenware it is often originally once-fired at cone 018 or cone 019 to yield bisque porcelain. After china paint and/or glazes are applied and fired finally at cone 6/2246-2250F, it is completely and irreversibly vitrified. A great source for the practical porcelain hobbyist is "Practical Porcelain" by Mildred Bell Lucas, Bell Ceramics, NY, NY; 1965.2605:A000:1607:403E:5158:3233:DA72:AD8E (talk) 00:55, 16 December 2014 (UTC)

"Nonmetallic" linking to "nonmetal" is confusing[edit]

The very beginning of this article includes a the word "nonmetallic", which functions also as a link that redirects to the Wikipedia "nonmetal" page. The link should be changed to something more suitable or else removed.

The reasoning: "Nonmetallic" can refer to a nonmetal element (eg, the element oxygen, O, as explained in the "nonmetal" Wikipedia page), or, as applicable when considering ceramics (which can come from clay, a compound that probably includes the metal element aluminum), it can refer to any compound that is not specifically one of the several metal elements. The difference is that the latter meaning can include the *almost infinite* number of possible *compounds* which might be, for example, composed in part of metal elements, while the former definition refers only to one of the *several tens* of nonmetallic *elements*. So a better link than to the "nonmetal" Wikipedia page (which covers only the former definition) would be a link to a dictionary definition of nonmetal that includes this second meaning or else have no link at all. Hozelda (talk) 03:48, 27 November 2012 (UTC)

Requested move, 2013[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus reached, 3 supported and 3 opposed Chihin.chong (tea and biscuits) 09:23, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

CeramicCeramics – The location of this page (the result of an article split that was apparently later remerged), I believe, is in error. The singular noun to describe ceramic materials is ceramics. In my entire life I have only ever once, ever, seen the word "ceramic" used as a noun, and that is in the awkward first sentence of this article. I understand that as a rule we use singular titles. The singular title should be ceramics. (See here, where "ceramics" can be understood as taking a singular verb.)

While the article about magnetic objects correctly lies at magnet (no "s") as per our naming policy, the name for the study of physical science is physics; and though the name for numerical entities is at number, the name for the study of numerical relations is mathematics... and just like physics and mathematics, ceramics is undeniably a singular noun in common use (though it can be used plurally as well). The name for the field of fired clay material is ceramics. With WP:UCN as my guide, I humbly propose this move request. Red Slash 01:57, 25 April 2013 (UTC)

  • Support "ceramics" is the field. "ceramic" is an adjective. -- (talk) 04:29, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose for now – though I was uncertain; I looked it up here. A "ceramic" can be an object made of a ceramic material; the "art and science" of such things is "ceramics". The article as written seems to be more about the former. A move would be OK if the lead were redirected to the art and science of ceramics as opposed to an object. Dicklyon (talk) 06:31, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. Ceramic is an adjective, ceramics is a noun. While ceramic can be used as a noun, the first meaning is an adjective. When used as a noun, it does not refer to the object, but instead to the material. Apteva (talk) 08:09, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
If you really wanted to contradict me, why not cite a source supporting your viewpoint, like I did? Your opinions, even if occasionally not wrong, are essentially of no use here. Did you even look at the dictionary I linked? Dicklyon (talk) 01:13, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Support. I've seen "ceramic" used as a noun, but it originates as an adjective. The term "ceramics" as a collective noun is both more common and clearer in scope. (talk) 13:35, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
But "ceramics" is not the topic of the article; did you look at the article? Dicklyon (talk) 01:13, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Oppose. Ceramic is actually from the ancient Greek, Keramikos, meaning "potter's clay." The "ic" at the end of the word is not the same as the suffix "-ic" (as in "democratic") which turns a noun into an adjective. Ceramic is a noun which is often used as an adjective to modify another noun, but most dictionaries list it as a noun just the same. As a noun, "ceramic" refers to the material, which is what this article is about. (ie: What is a ceramic?) "Ceramics," as a noun, refers to the objects that are made from that material, but only when used with a plural verb. (Where are the ceramics?) "Ceramics," when used with a singular verb, refers to the art of making pottery. (Where is the class on ceramics?) Zaereth (talk) 22:34, 25 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose "Ceramic" is the term used for one of the main types of materials. We have articles at Metal and Polymer (with the plural form as a redirect). Ceramic is also a valid noun, such as "alumina is a type of ceramic". There is no need to change to the plural form for the article title. --Polaron | Talk 19:41, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
That sort of issue is one factor in choosing a name, but is very far from the only one. Johnbod (talk) 21:34, 27 April 2013 (UTC)


My primary contention was/is that in English, commonly, the word "ceramic" is not a noun. Let's talk sources! The American Ceramic Society's website (look at the last paragraph) both uses the "s" version in its descriptions and the website url. A few more:

And on and on and on. Dictionaries call "ceramic" a noun, but in general, everyday usage, no sir, "ceramics" is the singular. The etymological argument is fascinating but I think by this point "ceramic" has been converted into an adjective, period. (I mean it though, that's awesome!! Never knew that! That might explain why dictionaries claim that "ceramic" is a noun--because etymologically you'd expect it even though people don't actually, like, use it that way much.) Red Slash 02:29, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

It's all about how it's being used within the sentence in order to make it grammatically correct. When it comes to the actual usage of words, I will refer to a dictionary everytime, because these are the most reliable sources on the words themselves. "Ceramic" is only an adjective when it is being used as noun modifying another noun. A comparison would be the material "glass." By itself, "glass" is a noun. "The glass shattered upon impact." As noun being used to modify another noun, glass is an adjective. "The glass window shattered upon impact." We most certainly wouldn't change the article to "glasses," which refers to something you wear on your face. When referring to the material itself, "ceramic" is only pluralized when referring to multiple types. "Many ceramics were used in constructing the final product." However, as a singular noun, it refers to only one type of the material. "The ceramic used in this one is earthware." When deciding on usage, it's important to remember that syntax and context play a vital role in determining which form to use. Zaereth (talk) 07:03, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
It's a noun in engineering technical & material science usage, but not in usage related to pottery. This article mainly deals with the former. Johnbod (talk) 12:05, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
This article is the more general topic of ceramics, and ceramics redirects here. We have a separate article on the material ceramic at Ceramic materials. Apteva (talk) 21:27, 26 April 2013 (UTC)
Ah, the wonders of Wikipedia! It's not unusual here to have two articles on the same subject, although this one is more devoted to what I would call the "traditional" material, whereas the other is based more on modern ceramics (in this sentence, "ceramics" is a plural noun). I would not object at all to merging the two, as both articles are quite incomplete alone. However, neither really deals with ceramics, as in "the art" (note I'm using it with the singular verb, "deals"), and we already have an article on that as well, over at pottery. (Isn't the English language fun?) Zaereth (talk) 21:53, 26 April 2013 (UTC)

Proposed resolutions[edit]

The name of the art is ceramics and it makes zero sense to have an article on ceramics at ceramic. (Could we perhaps merge that with pottery? Not an expert, but my understanding is that there's a subtle distinction between the two. Or at least that's another day's problem.) As for the materials themselves, we already have an article at Ceramic materials. So maybe "ceramic" can redirect there post-move? (Or a disambig page? Or maybe merge them all at ceramics?) Red Slash 18:41, 27 April 2013 (UTC)

I think some merging & rearranging is probably the best way forward. Ceramic art and pottery have very considerable overlap, & are really not easily distinguished, like this and ceramic materials. I think "Ceramics" technically includes glass, though not in most everyday usage. Johnbod (talk) 21:29, 27 April 2013 (UTC)
From what I can tell by reading these articles, we have four articles on three different subjects. Subject 1 is "ceramic (material)" which is covered partially by both ceramic and ceramic materials. These two articles should be merged under the name "ceramic." Subject 2 is "ceramics" the art form, which is covered over at pottery. Subject 3 is "ceramics" the finished objects, which are covered at ceramic art. Zaereth (talk) 19:18, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
I agree re 1, but your distinction between 2 and 3 is wrong. What does "the art form" consist of if not "finished objects"? Not all pottery is art but it is pretty impossible to attempt a general division between what is and is not. Johnbod (talk) 21:12, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
By "art form," I'm referring to the definition "the art of making and decorating pottery," which is one of the two definitions listed for the term "ceramics." The other definition is for the ceramic objects themselves.(For example, "I took ceramics in high school," versus, "I took the ceramics to the high school".) The former, being such a specific definition, is almost never used with an article, (a, an, the), while the latter usually is. (This is similar to "I'm going into space," versus "I'm going into the space.) Zaereth (talk) 22:14, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
Same difference. There's no point distinguishing between them at this level, and if we did "art form" would relate to ceramic art (unsurprisingly) not pottery in any case. Johnbod (talk) 23:19, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
I do see your point about that, as the ceramic art article really deals with ceramics as pieces of art, rather than mere objects in general. Mostly, I was really using it as an example to point out how these words are properly used. (Discussions of linguistics really interest me.) I can definitely see a point for merging the pottery and art articles, but don't have a strong opinion on it. I do have a stronger opinion as to merging the two articles about the material, though. Zaereth (talk) 00:50, 30 April 2013 (UTC)
To Johnbod, glass is generally thought of as being a transparant material. However, porcelain or unglazed floor tiles are examples of vitreous ceramics, or "glasses." they're often listed as a ceramic because it's not see through. Ceramics can also be semivitreous, because the high temperatures needed to make them fully vitreous may destroy certain color additives, like red or black. Vitreous ceramics are completely impervious to water, while semivitreous ceramics will absorb a small amount. (Most common dinnerware are semivitreous ceramics.) The fields are related but gemerally thought of as separate. Zaereth (talk) 19:36, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
I don't think transparency has anything to do with it. According to the 2nd line of the article now, all glasses are ceramic as I said. The distinction is between crystalline & amorphous (glass) structures. Johnbod (talk) 21:12, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
ell, there is a difference between scientific classification and how they are generally perceived. Thermoplastics are also glasses, but most people don't think of them that way. Zaereth (talk) 22:14, 29 April 2013 (UTC)
While the word ceramic is primarily about ceramic materials, I would recommend leaving ceramic as a redirect to ceramics and the article about ceramic materials to remain at ceramic materials, when all is said and done, as certainly ceramic can be used by technical users (technical dictionaries include this meaning, but not most general dictionaries) to mean any object made of ceramic. Apteva (talk) 02:37, 2 May 2013 (UTC)
I'm sorry, but I'm not familiar with technical dictionaries. Can you point me to one which defines these words differently. It may not be well known, but dictionaries (books about diction) do not make this stuff up. When working on a dictionary, you have to carefully study the word and its meaning in every field of usage, and provide a definition for each use in terms of linguistic structure. Zaereth (talk) 19:34, 3 May 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

Changed redirect[edit]

I have, pursuant to the arguments stated in this move proposal (which was correctly assessed as "no consensus" by the closer), changed ceramics to redirect to pottery. Red Slash 15:56, 11 May 2013 (UTC)

I don't think I object to that, but I wonder how you draw that conclusion from the "arguments stated in this move proposal"? I'm thinking that the "other uses" section should be moved to ceramic materials and the "in archaeology" one to pottery. Thoughts? That would leave this article shorter and more general, which is probably a good thing. Johnbod (talk) 16:15, 11 May 2013 (UTC)
From the "proposed resolutions" discussions. Sir, I have no clue what to do with "ceramics", really. I almost think a disambiguation page or merging all four articles (ceramic, ceramic material, pottery and maybe ceramic art) into ceramics. But we can have pottery host the first two, at least. I really don't think we need this article AND ceramic material, but more to the point we have yet to prove that "ceramics" means what this article discusses. So I sent the redirect to pottery. I don't know, bro. (I know, I changed from calling you "sir" to "bro" in just one paragraph. I really am not sure about the correct path Face-smile.svg) Red Slash 02:13, 12 May 2013 (UTC)
I disagree with such a redirect. Ceramics is far wider than pottery. As pottery is a sub-sect of ceramics there should not be this redirect as this would suggest they are synonyms. Although late in the day I note caution with the ceramic/ceramics debate, this because I have seen it used for a wide range of different defintions including ceramic articles, ceramic materials, the science of ceramics and the art of ceramics. And I've seen ceramic/s used as a noun in both single and plural. Tx, Mitch — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:46, 14 May 2013 (UTC)

What happens to clay in firing[edit]

I came to this article hoping to find an explanation of what happens to clay in the firing process, turning a relatively soft substance into a permanently hard one (unlike clay that is merely 'sun-baked'). I don't think the article as it stands really does this. But I did find another useful source on the web here If this is accurate (and I don't have the authority to judge this) I suggest someone might work this information into the Wiki article. (talk) 12:22, 9 July 2013 (UTC)

what about ceramics usage in Solid oxide fuel cells ?[edit]

It's stated in Solid oxide fuel cell page that ceramic material is used in in this type of fuel cell as electrolyte. Shouldn't we add a section for this ? Fotte (talk) 10:51, 9 May 2014 (UTC)