Our craft blog
Apr 11, 2023
écrit par Christelle Martin

What is the difference between pottery and ceramics?

Pottery and ceramics. At Flowrette, we have taken time to understand the subtlety! Now that we are used to meeting potters, we have understood the nuance. We said that it could be interesting to share it with you!

Before talking about differences, there is an etymological common point between pottery and ceramic. Originally, ceramics was in Greek pottery in Latin.

Pottery designates the art of potter, therefore the art of manufacturing domestic and culinary utensils, using earth and water.

However, ceramics designates a similar technique, even more extensive: objects relating to ceramics can have much larger functions, such as decoration accessories, roof tiles or sandstone parts.

Let's see it in more detail!

What is pottery?

Pottery is the generic term for all terracotta -based objects that involve the decoration or shaping of a piece of clay, to design objects such as vases and mainly domestic and culinary use containers.

What characterizes pottery in relation to other clay objects is its porous terracotta, which can possibly receive a glazed coating. For example, earthenware or refractory products are also made from porous land.

Its orange color is due to the presence of iron oxide in the dough.

To synthesize, pottery is generally cooked in an oven until it is hardened and is above all used to create functional objects.

There are different techniques for creating different variations in pottery: earthenware with two cooking to fix the enamel, and refractory products are better resistant to heat thanks to the presence of Chamotte and Kaolin in its dough.


What is ceramics?

Ceramic objects, on the other hand, designate a wider range of clay -based objects. This means that they can be used for decorative and non -functional purposes.

Very old, the oldest pieces in discovery ceramic come from China and date from over 20,000 years ago.

Among the different types of ceramics, we can find the pottery, which we have spoken just before, including if the object is earthenware.

Vitrified ceramics, such as sandstone or porcelain, are also ceramics. These are often more worked and more intended for decoration.


What is the difference between pottery and ceramics?

As we have seen, ceramics is therefore a more generic term designating any object based on different terracotta.

Pottery arrived first, from prehistory, mainly for sculpture. If the other types of ceramics appeared afterwards, it is because they depend on materials found in certain places, or technological advances allowing for example to have a very high cooking temperature.

The fundamental difference is therefore mainly found in the creation technique, the cooking and the land used. The potter will use terracotta material, a mixture of clay and marl, the ceramist will use clay only.

Why do we use different techniques?

Ceramists often use the two types of clay to create different effects. For example, a ceramist may want his room to be durable and functional, and will therefore create sandstone objects, or on the contrary a prettier and thinner piece, and will therefore make its object in porcelain.

There are also many different types of clay, so that an artist may want to use one type of clay for one project and another for another. This will influence the basic material, the dough that the ceramist will work, its color, or even give properties such as enamel on earthenware or sandstone.

The different types of clay react differently to the cooking temperature in the oven as well as other factors such as glazes or colors.

For example, red sandstone is often very stable in the oven, but it is porous when cooked at high temperature, while porcelain cracks when it is cooked too hot and becomes troubled if it is cooked too cold.

An object made from these two types of clay can have an exterior layer of more solid pottery and an interior layer of more delicate ceramic.

And at Flowrette?

At Flowrette, we offer different ceramic design articles to allow you to highlight your decorative bouquets and accessories.

We want to highlight craftsmanship, mainly French, but we do not close to other territories. You can therefore find in our catalog the work of Portuguese craftsmen around table art, Thai for our swallowing or Indian vases for our dune vases.

These pieces are created according to different techniques: in our approach to highlight crafts, we offer different shapes, textures and colors to make your interior radiate and highlight your decoration accessories.

For more information on our craftsmen, you can find on our blog, passionate potter with whom we collaborate!


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