All About Ceramics

Whether the centre piece of a table or an entire table set, a single astonishing piece of art on a coffee table or a collection of prized ceramics arranged along a shelf, ceramics have always had a special place in our hearts – and at the Bluestone Gallery too particularly as Guy was a potter for 20 years (many moons ago).

It’s believed we created ceramics as far back as 24,000 BC, primarily for practical reasons for storing and carrying, but ceramics have always been treasured art too.

There are four basic types of ceramic or pottery that is available, and we store it all at Bluestone; porcelain, stoneware, earthenware and bone china. These four types vary in accordance to the clay used to create them, as well as the heat required to fire them.

Earthenware is considered to be the longest established form of pottery, dating way back to the Stone Age. It’s also the softest form of pottery, being fired at the lowest heat. It absorbs water, is porous and is scratched easily for ornamental and practical reasons.  Very colourful patterned pottery is often earthenware as the low firing temperature makes it easier to have bright glazes. 

Stoneware is dense resembling stone after being heated – hence its name. Impermeable to water stoneware is grey, often getting darker during the firing process, meaning that coloured glazes are almost always applied to give it quality and style.

Porcelain is very fine, sometimes translucent clay that contains no iron, hence its whiteness. Fired at very high temperatures, porcelain is used to created extremely delicate and often fragile works of art. 

Finally, bone china is thought of as a harder type of porcelain. It has remarkable strength, normally white and translucent after firing. The addition of bone ash contributes to its fine and strong characteristics.

Of course, there is a lot more to ceramics than just what they are made of. Their form and their glazes are everything! But rather than try to describe, view our shop below and feel free to contact us if you have any questions.