Definition of Pottery
Pottery is defined as earthenware and includes Faience, or Majolica, creamware and, according to many authorities, a near-porcelain variety called stoneware. It is the commoner type of chinaware; the features that place it apart from porcelain are that it is opaque, and that the glaze does not combine with the paste, or clay body.
The origins of the making of pottery are lost in antiquity, and date from when Primitive Man found that the heat of a fire would harden clay. So far as the modern collector is concerned little is available that was made before the sixteenth century, although a considerable number of earlier examples can be studied in museums. They are seen to be of simple shapes, mostly in the form of jugs; sometimes with decorative patterns cut or impressed into the red or buffclay; with patterns rubbed on or dribbled in wet clay (slip) of a contrasting color or with designs stamped on pads of clay stuck on the article. Many are colored with transparent glazes made from lead, in shades of yellow, brown or green. The shapes used varied from place to place and from century to century, and it is not always possible to name where or when a piece was made. Kilns with fragments of broken ware have been excavated, and these are a guide.