Types of Ceramics
The oldest form of pottery and ceramics used today in combination with many glazes.
Typically found in household items like planters pots and industrial dishwares.
Due to the firing temperature of Earthenwares these must be glazed if used for teaware as they remain too porous to hold liquid while unglazed (think planters pot).
The most popular type of ceramics for unglazed teapots.
Stoneware is a modern term used to define temperature ranges in between Earthenware and Porcelain.
Due to the porosity and firing methods of each clay in each region will have a different effect on tea including, imbuing, muting, and thickening the flavor of different teas while the pots themselves will season and patina over time.
Note: While Stoneware teapots are often unglazed, most reduction also happens at stoneware firing temperatures.
The Chinese classic that has been in China cabinets and on tea tables for over 500 years.
Porcelain is the highest fired and hardest to work with out of any type of ceramics.
Places like Jingdezhen will adorn their porcelain and use it as a canvas, where others like in Dehua will leave the luminescent work to glow by itself.
The most accessible form of teaware for consumers.
Artists commission several tens of molds in the shape they desire. Then clay diluted with water can be poured to form the shape of the piece.
These wares are plucked out and glazed, painted or finished after they are removed from the mold.
See Mold Made
The best combination for quality and affordability in teaware.
Unlike the equipment used for Mold Made wares, the molds for half hand wares are only used to speed up shaping the body of the pot and the clay does not need to be diluted. Other parts (spout, handle, lid, feet) can still made fully by hand.
See Half Hand
The highest craftsmanship in teaware.
Among ceramicists it is well known that teapots are the hardest of all pottery to make. The balance of the pot, fluidity of the pour, shape of the lid, and impact of the clay all set teapots in their own world.
Apprentices, masters, and craft potters all chasing the same thing...functional art.