Talk:Ceramic materials

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Very old stuff[edit]

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 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)


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

Sintering[edit]

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]

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)

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[edit]

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

Voting[edit]

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)

Discussion[edit]

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


Hello 70.52.112.133 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

Regards,

Andy


Hello again 70.52.112.133,

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 http://www.cement.org.au/technical/cement_production.htm hwere you will see it noted that temperatures of up to 1450˚C are found in the kiln to produce cement Regards, Andy

ceramic[edit]

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


Hello 60.52.20.66,

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

Brittle[edit]

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. 134.84.54.209 18:28, 4 January 2007 (UTC)Julia

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

Ceramin?[edit]

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 78.148.87.151 (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)

Reference?[edit]

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)

Categories[edit]

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:119.224.22.238 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 119.224.22.238 (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 119.224.22.238 (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 119.224.22.238 (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)

Raw materials[edit]

For unexplained reasons the correction to remove 'raw' from the introduction has been reverted a number of times. Why is this? Ceramic materials are just that: ceramic. These are man-made materials which during their formation have been suject to high temperatures to impart permanent chemical and physical changes. Whereas 'ceramic raw materials' are those materials used at ths start of this process: they are the pre-cursor materials.

For reference pick up any reputable book, and one well respected UK published one is 'Introduction to the technology of Pottery' by Paul Rado (formerly of Royal Worcester) in which Chaper 2 is titled 'Raw materials', this is sub-divided into Clay Minerals; China Clays; Sedimentary Clays; Silica; Feldspathic Minerals; Alkaline Earth Minerals; Miscellaneous Minerals; Temporary Raw materials.

Or how about the book 'Properties of ceramic raw materials' by W.Ryan. (Note raw.) This is a book published by the Institue of Ceramics. At the start of chapter 2 is a flow diagram of a generic production process, and this is: Raw materials won -> Purification -> Size adjustment -> Materials mixed in required proportions -> Product shaped -> Dried -> Product fired.

Even a book as basic as 'The Potters Dictonary by Hamer & Hamer understands the difference between ceramic materials and ceramic raw materials, for example: 'Raw - uncooked, unfired, in original state.'

Or how about recent journal articles where this useage is very apparent:

  • “Estimations of error in chemical analyses of ceramic raw materials play a key role in view of their technical specification, especially for high-performance porcelain stoneware tiles. The error in determining Na2O, Fe2O3 and ZrO2 content was evaluated. Repeated measurements were run for Na2O and Fe2O3 by testing a certified reference material, soda feldspar (SRM NIST 99a), and for ZrO2 by testing a sample of a body mix currently used in ceramic tile production. The chemical analysis was performed using ICP-AES. The technique is explained and the results are presented and discussed. For ZrO2, the error obtained is appropriate for the purpose of raw material characterisation. For Na2O, different values were obtained for the two feldspar samples, although their range of error overlaps.’ Paper titled ‘Quality Of Ceramic Raw Materials: The Uncertainty In Chemical Analyses.’presented at Qualicer '08. Xth World Congress on Ceramic Tile Quality. February,2008 by Albertazzi, Bonvicini & Tenaglia.
  • “Minerals for traditional ceramics, particularly tiles, are briefly considered. Clays are first examined, looking at the formulation of ceramic bodies, the role played by different clays, suitable clays for unglazed porcelainised stoneware tiles, and the effects of colouring oxides Fe2O3 and TiO2. The clays used are mainly kaolinitic and should have properties advantageous for modern continuous wet processing: deflocculation, plasticity, high dry bending strength and low Fe2O3 and TiO2 content. Feldspars are discussed, looking at plagioclase, alkali feldspar, solid solution between end members, and their role as fluxing agents in ceramics. Wollastonite is then described, noting its importance in ceramic tile bodies and its role in promoting sintering. Other minerals, including lithium minerals, natural chromite, mullite and zircon, are finally considered.” ‘Natural Raw Materials For Traditional Ceramics.’ Manfredini & Hanuskova. Int.Ceram.J. June,2008
  • “As a basis of ceramic process development, raw material selection plays a fundamental role in the final product design. For correct material selection, knowledge regarding all the properties of the raw materials should be obtained. Plasticity is one of the most important properties for moulding clay products. However, the standard methods in use, including the Pfefferkorn method, are not precise and reliable, being based on subjective qualitative information and dependent on technical skills. Attempts to improve the test method, all based on the force needed to indent a clay sample surface with specific water content, have been shown. Four different clays were studied and the plasticity values due to the Pfefferkorn method and the indentation test were compared. The results showed that the indentation method is reliable, more precise, faster and more practical compared to Pfefferkorn.” ‘Determination Of Clay Plasticity: Indentation Method Versus Pfefferkorn Method.’ de Oliveira Modesto C & Bernardin. Appl.Clay Sci. 40, No.1. 2008
  • “Special clay deposits and problems related to their extraction in Germany are discussed. The nature of special clays and their worldwide occurrence are noted. Typical ceramic applications are listed. Problems pertaining to the extraction of indigenous resources in Germany are considered, looking at the welter of EU acts and regulations, as well as those arising at Federal Government level and at state and local authority levels in the Rhineland-Palatinate. Licensing procedures for exploring and extracting special clays in Germany are outlined.” ‘Raw Materials For The Ceramics Industry - Experience In The Development Of New Capacities’ Schmidt. ZI Int. 61, 2008.
  • “Demand for fine fireclay in the sanitaryware market is growing, with customers willing to convert their bathrooms into true lifestyle areas, pushing designers to invent evermore complex designs. The growth is also driven partly by sanitaryware producers who see the technical edge that fine fireclay provides. Imerys Sanitaryware has been seeking to develop the "ideal" fine fireclay body formulation which offers improved performance and yield, and have developed a new shredded ball clay, Hycast FFC. A combination of Hycast FFC and AGS chamotte with the range of Imerys kaolins, as shown with the Imerys standard body, gives very good performance in a fine fireclay formulation. Variation of the kaolin grade for certain properties, e.g. high density for conventional casting or fast casting for pressure casting systems, gives flexibility in production. The range of Imerys raw materials is complemented by prepared sanitaryware bodies, including fine fireclay bodies.” ‘Fine Fireclay - An Overview Of Raw Materials And Body Formulations.’ Stockley. Ceram.Forum Int. 85 2008. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 210.54.238.178 (talk) 02:24, 6 April 2009 (UTC)

Non-crystalline ceramics?[edit]

The lead says "Ceramic materials may be crystalline or partly crystalline." Section 1.2 is headed "Non-crystalline ceramics." Why isn't this an inconsistency? --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 22:03, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

The article says:
Glass by definition is not a ceramic because it is an amorphous solid (non-crystalline). However, glass involves several steps of the ceramic process and its mechanical properties behave similarly to ceramic materials.
and:
Non-crystalline ceramics, being glasses, tend to be formed from melts.
That also looks like an inconsistency. Clarification, please. Is glass a ceramic, or a non-crystalline ceramic, or like a ceramic, or not a ceramic? Pelarmian (talk) 17:35, 10 April 2014 (UTC)
That is because the definition is wrong, it is overly specific. Per Callister & Rethwisch's Materials Science and Engineering an Introduction, 8th edition, the materials science definition of a ceramic is A compound of metallic and nonmetallic elements for which the interatomic bonding is predominantly ionic. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Norsoulnet (talkcontribs) 14:19, 1 May 2014 (UTC)
No, the definition is not wrong rather just a different understanding. The inclusion of glass as a ceramic material is common in Japan & the US, but in most other countries glass is not classed as a ceramic material — Preceding unsigned comment added by 80.90.196.82 (talk) 13:36, 10 May 2014 (UTC)
Not really. I doubt there is much national difference. Glass is typically (in the UK anyway) recognised as ceramic, but in practice it makes sense in the majority of contexts to exclude it when talking of ceramics or ceramic materials. Johnbod (talk) 13:50, 10 May 2014 (UTC)

Nanophase ceramics[edit]

Another editor has created an article at Nanophase ceramic. The article is just a stub and ought to be expanded. Eastmain (talkcontribs) 22:56, 22 November 2014 (UTC)