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Difference Between Pottery and Ceramics

Pottery vs. Ceramics

When one says pottery or ceramics, people tend to relate them easily with clays. For thousands of years these two have been part of the culture of humankind. It has been around throughout history. There have been artistic jars and tiles which are evident in the historical places of the world. Up until now it is still widely used by many people in their homes and work space. However, people still get confused about the differences between the two. People mistake one for the other. So, how should pottery and ceramics be properly defined?

Ceramics are made out of materials that changes form permanently when heated. An example of this is clay. The clay, when heated and molded into the form desired, will permanently stay in that shape after heating and dipping it into water.

Clays, however, are not the only materials that can be converted into ceramics. Glazes, silica and zirconium oxide may also be turned into ceramic materials. This is because these materials can be changed when heated and stay in the form it is molded into.

Potteries on the other hand are ceramics made out of clay and molded into a form which looks like containers of something. Pots are made through molding the clay on a spinning table while the potter molds the pot as it spins in his fingers. Do you remember the film Ghost? The part where Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore made a sexy scene from the sensual act of creating a pot? That would be a perfect scene where one can see how pots are really made.

The oldest kind of ceramics is pottery. These days, ceramics are heated and have a different process than the simple pottery. This is to make the ceramic product have a smoother surface. Both ceramics and pottery are used not only for furniture, but also for artistic purposes.

Ceramics have a broad range of products. It is not just made out of clay, however all clays are ceramics. Knives, armors, and car engines are sometimes made out of ceramics, which only defines how broad the ceramic production is.

On the other hand, pottery is limited only to clay and is limited to one form only, a pot. Pottery is a type of ceramic which has been used for a long time already, and it is still used now.

These are some of the major and minor differences of pottery and ceramics. With this you will definitely distinguish the difference between the two.

SUMMARY:

1.

Ceramics are not only made by clay but also other materials like glazes, while pottery is made up of only clay.
2.

Pottery is a form of ceramics. Ceramics is a broader aspect of molding certain materials into something artistic or something of use.
3.

Ceramics have a smoother surface with the new techniques of molding being used on it, pottery is still rough because of the old fashion ways it is created.


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5 Comments

  1. my doubt is.. Why ceramic bit costliest than glass… and compared to ceramics why the pottery marketing less..

  2. This description is confusing and not really true. Both pottery and ceramics have glazes applied to them, of course, as they would not be food safe “pots” without glaze. Both pottery and ceramics can be both smooth and rough as it depends on the base material used (ie type of clay ). There are loads of other faults but I can’t be bothered pointing them all out.

  3. I have a BFA in ceramics—my professors explained the difference as: pottery is made by potters (aka ceramicists) who mostly create utilitarian objects, pots, etc. Ceramics (using all the same materials: glazes, clay, etc) is more of a blanket term and can be a ceramic sculptor and can also make pots… they’re fairly interchangeable, though some prefer to be called a potter or a ceramicist. This article is weird and false.

  4. A simple clayware dried or fired is both pottery and ceramics; example: earthen pot or flower vase or brick.

    A clayware glazed and fired is also pottery and ceramics; example: clay, stone or porcelain dinnerware or floor/wall tile.

    A clayware of high plastic grade clay, such as, high quality ball clay or kaolin clay, and mixed and processed with several other non-metal, metal and bone materials, such as, silica and or bone ash and or zircon and or alumina and or several other chemical substances and glazed or unglazed and fired at a temperature of several hundred degree or over thousand degree centigrade is called only ceramics, not clayware or pottery; example: porcelain or bone china dinnerware, tile or sanitaryware; electrical insulator; automotive insulating parts, semiconductors; medical or dental implant; spacecraft parts; bulletproof securityware; all types of glass and glass fibre products, fibre optics, fibre optic communication and internet cables, any glass items, such as, drinking glass, glass container, bottle, jar, building glass, autoglass, mirror glass, etc.

  5. You are totally up the pole, pottery and ceramics are the same thing….otherwise its like saying wholemeal bread is not bread only white bread is. Ceramics covers all processes where silica based material is irreversibly changed by heat….and that includes glass…a ceramic, and concrete, technically a ceramic. ( so defined in the early 20th c) I am going to sit on my ceramic toilet, and then plant some herbs in my ceramic pot plant…..they are both ceramics !!!!

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