Earthenware in CERAMICA CH

Earthenware is a type of pottery made from clays that contain varying amounts of lime, mixed with different types and quantities of temper and fired in a reducing or oxidising atmosphere (uneven, grey, red, yellow, beige or white in colour), producing a fabric that is porous and therefore permeable to water because firing temperatures do not usually exceed 800°C to 1000°C. While firing clay at this temperature irreversibly changes its chemical make-up, the clay does not become molten. This means that, provided they are adequately prepared, i.e. homogenised, most clays from the Holocene (post-Ice Age) that occur in Switzerland, southern Germany and Austria, are suitable for making earthenware or stove tiles. Lime-deficient clays with large amounts of temper are particularly well suited to the production of cooking vessels, which must be able to withstand massive changes in temperature if they are to be placed next to or directly onto a fire.

Earthenwares are subdivided into categories on the basis of the firing atmosphere, the presence or absence of glaze (inside, outside, on both sides, colour) or slip (white, red, dark/black, beige or pink, light blue, green) as well as various decorative techniques (slipped, slip-trailed, stencilled, painted, incised, stamped and roller-stamped) and combinations thereof.

Ger.: Irdenware

Fr.: terre cuite

Lead-glazed earthenware: Earthenware with a transparent lead glaze, often green or yellow, applied either to both inside and outside or to one side only.

Ger.: Glasierte Irdenware

Frz.: Terre cuite glaçurée

Earthenware with slip/engobe: Earthenware with a white, red, pink, dark brown, green or blue undercoat (engobe) that can have decorations painted in white or multicoloured underglaze slips. The engobe can be applied to one side only or to both sides and the two sides can have different colours (white-red, black-red, black-white, red-orange etc.). This type of earthenware was usually fired only once (glost firing, single-phased process).

Ger: Engobierte Irdenware

Frz.: Terre cuite engobée

Translation Sandy Haemmerle