stoneware n : ceramic ware that is fired in high heat and vitrified and nonporous
Stoneware is a category of clay and a type of ceramic distinguished primarily by its firing and maturation temperature (from about 1200°C to 1315 °C). In essence, it is man-made stone. One widely recognized definition is from the Combined Nomenclature of the European Communities which states, "Stoneware, which, though dense, impermeable and hard enough to resist scratching by a steel point, differs from porcelain because it is more opaque, and normally only partially vitrified. It may be vitreous or semi-vitreous. It is usually coloured grey or brownish because of impurities in the clay used for its manufacture, and is normally glazed".
In contrast, earthenware is fired at lower temperatures and is not impervious to liquids. Porcelain, which some consider to be a type of stoneware, is distinguished as being whiter than stoneware and always vitreous. Kaolin, or China Clay, has a lower content of impurities than many other clays. It is also fired to a vitreous state, transforming the constituent silica into glass. Some porcelain bodies are translucent after firing. Firing a piece of pottery to too high a temperature will result in warping or melting. Vitreous clay bodies can be made at different temperatures ranges, but they are typically fired in the stoneware/porcelain range. Fired stoneware absorbs up to 5% water, porcelain 0%, and earthenware up to 10%. Earthenware, when moist, is typically not freeze resistant. Clay refers to group of minerals that generally exhibit plasticity when mixed with water, and which chemically primarily consist of alumina and silica. Potters refer to combinations of clays mixed with other materials as clay bodies. Different kinds of clay bodies are created by mixing additives, such as feldspar, grog, quartz, flint, many other minerals are used and these can include spodumene, wollastonite to modify clays. Clay bodies can thereby be formulated to fire at a range of temperatures. Darker clays often contain iron and other metal oxide impurities. The clay used for porcelain and white stoneware clay bodies contain very little of these impurities.
Glaze may be applied to stoneware pottery before a second firing at a different temperature, or a glaze may be applied before a single, raw firing. Salt-glazed stoneware became the dominant houseware of nineteenth century America.
ReferencesCombined Nomenclature of the European Communities - EC Commission in Luxembourg, 1987
- Beardman jugs from the Avondster site -- Provides photographs and history of early Rhenish stoneware vessels, produced circa 1500s-1700s.
- Japanese stoneware in the collection of the Asia Society.
stoneware in Czech: Kamenina
stoneware in Danish: Stentøj
stoneware in German: Steinzeug
stoneware in French: Grès utilisé en poterie
stoneware in Dutch: Gres (keramisch materiaal)
stoneware in Japanese: 炻器
stoneware in Polish: Kamionka (ceramika)
stoneware in Slovak: Kamenina
appliances, brassware, chinaware, clayware, copperware, dinnerware, durable goods, durables, earthenware, enamelware, fixtures, flatware, glassware, graniteware, hard goods, hardware, hollow ware, housefurnishings, housewares, ironmongery, ironware, kitchenware, metalware, ovenware, silverware, sporting goods, tableware, tinware, tools and machinery, white goods, woodenware