Ceramics are wares made by potters using different materials fired at different temperature to acquire the desired effect. Ceramics are broken up into categories of earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. These terms specifically reference the different temperatures at which pieces are fired. Earthenware is commonly fired to temperatures in the range of 1000 and 1150 degrees Celsius. Stoneware is a category of clay and a type of ceramic distinguished primarily by its firing and maturation temperature from about 1200 to 1315 degrees Celsius. Raku firings use a temperature of 1500 degrees Celsius. Porcelain is a created by heating raw materials, generally including clay in the form of kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 degrees Celsius.
The desired form of the piece is generally created by hand, or with the help of the potter's wheel, and shaping tools. Once the proper form is acquired the piece is left to dry into a "bisque" state before the artist chooses to apply a glaze or combination of glazes accomplishing the desired color or patterning. The piece is then fired in a kiln at a specific temperature to achieve permanence.