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Porcelain is the most preciousproduct of the wide field of ceramics. The word ceramic derives from the Greek noun "keramos". Originally "keramos" meant clay and then covered everything that is made of clay such as jug, brick, roof, wall and even floor tiles.
Ceramics are as old as human civilisation.
Every prominent culture has produced important ceramics e.g. the lion gate in Babylon, the wine and storage containers in antique Greece, brick buildings in antique Rome, majolica tiles and vessels in the early Islamic world.
Ceramic works of art were produced all over the world, culminating in Europe with the discovery of porcelain.
In everyday language ceramics are those ceramic products whose main ingredient is clay. They are not transparent in contrast to porcelain, whose main ingredient is kaolin.
Ceramic products consist of plastic and non-plastic matter. Plastic matters are clays, non-plastic matters are quartz, feldspar, chalk etc. The shape of fired ceramics cannot be altered.
The group of coarse ceramics consists predominantly of building materials. The fine ceramics group includes: pottery, majolica, Faience, stoneware, fine stoneware, vitreous china, bone china and porcelain.
The fundamental difference between "Ceramics" and hard-fired porcelain is: hard fired porcelain consists of kaolin, feldspar and quartz and has a translucent body.
Fine stoneware consists, amongst other things, of kaolin, feldspar and quartz with its most important ingredient being clay, which results in the body not being translucent.