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Earthen Ware - Different Styles in Different Countries

Jan 31, 2008
Earthen ware most commonly implies a ceramic substance having a diversity of usage including pottery, tableware and numerous decorative objects like bowls, jars, vases, wind chimes, china ware, pitchers, etc. These were not only used in ancient time in different parts of the world, but also are used as contemporary modern dinner ware and pottery as well. Though red clay is the most commonly accessible and regularly used, white as well as buff colored clay earthen ware is also becoming trendy and fashionable. The earthen wares of different countries are not the same, as they are made in unqiue ways and they differ in composition according to their individual producer.

The basic composition of earthen wares, despite their differences in different countries, is 25% ball clay, 28% kaolin, 32% quartz and 15% feldspar. To make earthen ware, the first step is to put clay in a furnace at 1000 and 1150 degrees Celsius (1800 and 2100 degrees Farenheit) and glost a fire from 950 to 1050 degrees Celsius (1750 to 1925 degrees Fahrenheit). The vital quality of the finished product and the raw materials set the array of temperature. The raw materials determine the quality and color of the finished product as well. A very high temperature can result in expansion of the artifact. Due to glost firing the structure of the ware becomes solid and porous. To make it less absorbent the body is adorned with a gooey substance called -slip-. Slip is a liquid clay mixture used for decorating earthen ware and to make it less spongy. It can be slender like porcelain. So, not only for appearances, there are substantial practical reasons for glazing.

TYPES OF EARTHEN WARE:

1. Cream ware- it is covered with a see-through lead glaze and it has a cream colored body. It was invented by the potters of Staffordshire in England for domestic use in 1750. It was also referred to as tortoise shell ware or Pratt ware.

2. Delftware - it denotes basically blue and white pottery enclosed with a dense white tin glaze and adorned with metal oxides. It is most widely found in Netherlands and England.

3. Faience- it is a tin enameled earthen ware on a fragile pale buff body. It is found in France, Germany, Spain and Scandinavia.

4. Raku- it is a kind of Japanese pottery having a porous structure.

5. Terra cotta- it is known popularly as Italian baked earth and has a brownish orange color.

6. Victorian majolica- it was manufactured in Britain and USA in the 19th century. It has bright lead glazes and molded surfaces.

Earthen wares are not brawny and sturdy like stone ware. They are commercially used and are market friendly due to their lesser costs. Earthen wares today are considered very stylish for decorative purposes, implying that the material is not dying out, but manifesting itself in new ways.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant for pottery, antiques, and figurines. When shopping for pottery, antiques and figurines, we recommend only the best online stores for earthen ware, antiques , and figurines.
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