Stoneware Pottery

Our region has many natural clay deposits, which have been used for many centuries in the making of pottery.  

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Stoneware is a vitreous or semi-vitreous ceramic ware with a fine texture. Stoneware is made from clay that is then fired in a kiln, whether by an artisan to make homeware, or in an industrial kiln for mass-produced or specialty products. It is made primarily from non-refractory fire clay.

 

Due to its high strength and durability, stoneware has a wide range of uses, including: hotelware, kitchenware, cookware and bakeware, decorative bowls and vases, garden planters, electrical, chemical and laboratory ware. It is chip-resistant, and stoneware used in the kitchen can be safely used in the refrigerator, the oven, and the microwave.

 

Ceramic vs. Stoneware Dishes
Although all stoneware dishes are ceramic dishes, not all ceramic dishes are stoneware. Stoneware is one of the three types of traditional ceramics or pottery.

Ceramics
• Ceramics or pottery refers to a process of forming, firing or baking, and glazing or decorating a mixture of clay and other materials, then refiring it to harden the glaze. The three ceramics are earthenware, stoneware and porcelain.
Stoneware
• Stoneware is made from a particular type of clay that is fired at high temperatures, generally between 2,012 and 2,372 degrees Fahrenheit. It was first produced in China, during the Shang Dynasty (circa 1,400 BC).

Misconception
Stoneware can be distinguished from earthenware by several qualities. Stoneware feels dense for its size and is often uncoated, undecorated or unglazed on the bottom. Earthenware has a white, chalky look when fired, whereas stoneware has a darker, textured look. Stoneware can be left undecorated.

 

Early examples of pottery consisted of vessels for food storage, which had been sun-cured and baked in a pit fired with straw and dung. Large coil-and-slab pots, known as jarra, were originally used to store water or olive oil, but are now often seen as garden ornaments in the more elegant of inhabitants’ villas.

 


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