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A clay fired at low temperatures (cone 010-02) where it does not develop maturity (vitrify). Earthenwares are porous and therefore not as strong as stonewares and porcelains (sintering is the primary particle bonding mechanism). Earthenware glazes are usually bright colored and if the glazes are properly fitted, earthenware can be quite strong and functional, especially if fired higher than cone 04. Terra Cotta is a special type of earthenware where red burning clay is used. Majolica is done using terra cotta clays.

Like refractories, the particles of earthenwares fuse together at their points of contact leaving voids between. However feldspars are present in the mix and as temperatures proceed above cone 06 glass formation does take place to begin to fill the voids. The higher the temperature goes the more this process densifies the matrix and increases the strength of the fired product. Of course, shrinkage occurs also.

Out Bound Links

  • (Glossary) Terra cotta

    'Terra Cotta' (Italian for 'cooked earth') is red ...

  • (Glossary) Majolica

    Pottery fired to a low temperature employing a red...

  • (Glossary) Stoneware

    Most often the term stoneware refers to a high fir...

  • (Glossary) Porcelain

    Traditional utilitarian porcelains are comparative...

In Bound Links

By Tony Hansen

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