Earthenware is made from clays that were found, whilst porcelain and bone china are all made from smoother, fine-particle , harder-to-work clays. The difference between those ceramic products starts with the clay’s consistency and its porosity and finishes with its processing in the kiln.
The gaps among things labeled bone china and earthenware, stoneware, fine porcelain and other materials that go into making them, the porosity of these materials and the firing temperatures. Due to the ready availability of iron-infused clays for earthenware — and its firing temperature — those clays are also used for bricks, tiles and other practical household items. It is the exact same clay that is used for pottery by primitive and native peoples. Nice china, which is made up of bone or porcelain china, contains other materials that require higher firing temperatures, which also will help to make them more durable and enhanced clays.
The Firing Process
A number of the ancient practical earthenware pieces were fired by burying them in a pit covered with nothing but wood fuel set afire. Earthenware fires at temperatures which begin as low as 1,300 degrees Fahrenheit up to 2,100 degrees F, whereas bone and porcelain china clays fire at temperatures starting at degrees F, but can go. After the firing — the first shooting after drying — and prior to the last glazes are inserted — earthenware turns brown, red or black. Due to the skill required to work it and the high firing temperatures for china, fine china dinnerware prices more overall.
Since it’s cheap to create earthenware stands for everyday use in the dinner table, and it becomes somewhat watertight, though less than stoneware, which is also more durable, using a glaze and it added together. It is also on the cheap end of this spectrum, costing significantly less than stoneware, followed bone and porcelain china. In the home, you find earthenware utilized for ornamental bits, toaster steamers and garden planters and pots.
Porcelain and bone china clays are harder to shape, but attain a smoother product because they include particles that are smaller compared to the texture of earthenware clays. When fired, the clays in good china can attain a melting temperature which turns these things almost glasslike. Bone china dinnerware develops a translucence which gives it a delicate appearance, though it’s still exceptionally durable. It takes skill to work with the clays in good china, making the end product a higher more costly and quality one, better suited to special occasions, formal dinners or holiday gatherings.