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This page is to to be used to help sellers and collectors identify different types of pottery and ceramics.
It may not help you to identify a maker or a date of manufacture, but it just might put your search on the right track.

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Planting Your Pottery
Incredible Paperclay
Choosing the Perfect Pot
Fired Arts, Find Out More
The Legend of the Willow Plate
The Willow Poem
Facination with Horsehair
Ceramic Earthenware Pottery Care
Pottery Photography
Therapeautic Pottery for Children
Landscaping with Pottery

Surface Decoration


A method of decoration that dates back to the early 1800's.
It is a method whereby the pattern is "transferred" to the object by a piece of paper that carried the design from an engraved copper blank onto the pottery before the final firing and is an under glaze decoration.
Most transferware is mono-chromatic, or in other words, different shades of one color.

Purple Transferware

You will also find polychromatic, which means multi colored.

Polychrome Transferware


Was the first color used in transferware and the most popular, but there are also several colors including mulberry, brown, black and green transfer.

Green Transferware

Blue Willow

The most popular and lasting pattern, as well as the most recognizable example of transferware.

Blue Willow

Flow Blue

A type of transferware that has had chemicals added to the kiln during it's final glaze firing which causes the transfer decoration to run or flow.

Blue Flowers


A very colorful type of transferware.

Chintz Teapot

Blue Onion

Is another very popular pattern. It too was made in different variations by several factories and sometimes had hand painted accents.

Blue Onion


A method of decoration that is often seen on Nippon that consists of a clay slip or paste applied over the glaze.
It is a three dimensional decoration added by hand onto the body of a piece of pottery or ceramic.
Many pieces such as this vase are sole techniques of the European pottery workers.

Moriage Crabs

Decal Decoration

It may look like hand painting, but if you look really close, you will see the lack of brushstrokes and tiny dot pattern from the printing process.

Decals and Hand Painted

Many times decals are used in combination with hand painted accents or applied decoration.

Decal Decorations

Glaze Decorations

Hand Painted

Pottery may be hand painted before or after glazing.
Painting done over glaze is generally referred to as cold painted.
Lots of times, the glaze on a piece of pottery is the decoration.
Many glazes have taken years of research to develop and are passed down from generation to generation.
Some glazes and techniques have been lost and have proven impossible to duplicate.
Here is an example of hand painting on pottery.

Hand Painted


An ancient Japanese art of adding combustible materials such as straw, leaves or wood chips to earthenware during firing.
Many times they, are decorated before or after glazing.
This is an example of this technique.

Raku White Vase

Lustre or Luster Ware

Metallic oxide film applied after glazing and firing.
It is fired again at a lower temperature to produce a pearly or metallic luster finish.



A tin glazed earthenware noted for it's bright colors and three dimensional decoration.
Handles, spouts, and feet are almost always an extension of the body decoration, such as the twig handle on this pitcher.



Pottery that is fired at high temperature and is non-porous.
The clay vitrifies during firing and does not absorb moisture.
Most of the time a clear glaze is used because it shows the natural color of the pottery.

Stoneware Jar and Bowl

This stoneware crock has a salt glaze, that is achieved by tossing salt into the kiln during firing.
This shows the orange peel texture of the salt glaze.

Salt Glaze

Blended Glaze

This a 1904 McCoy jardinière showing a great example of blended glaze decoration.

Blended Glaze

Mottled Glaze

This is a good example of a mottled glaze.
Mottled Glaze


Also called slip ware is a method of decorating pottery by cutting a design into a colored slip of clay to reveal the color of the underbody clay.
The dark colored decoration on this plate is not paint, it is the dark redware clay of the body revealed by removing areas of the outer clay, or slip.


Rockingham Mottled Glaze

This glaze is generally referred to as Rockingham.
Pottery of this type were made by dozens of manufacturers.

Mottled Glaze

Other Stuff!

Drip Glaze

Refers to a different colored glaze dripping from the rim and often has a feathery edge.

Drip Glaze


A cream-colored earthenware with a transparent lead glaze which was developed in the 18th century.
This pottery was refined enough to be considered a substitute for porcelain and was produced by numerous English potters beginning in the mid-18th century.
It was decorated with molded decorations, painted enamels or transfer prints and its most successful manufacturer was Josiah Wedgwood, who marketed his products as Queensware.



Fired, unglazed and unpainted clay.
Many antique German Dolls were made of bisque.

Fired bisque


Noted for it's unglazed texture, it's color was achieved by adding metal oxides to the clay and the cameo relief decoration on the outside.
The most popular and often seen color is blue.


Character Jugs

Whimsical and collectible pieces often referred to as Toby Jugs.
The most well known were made by Royal Doulton, but many have been reproduced by other companies.
Toby Jug Mid Shipman

French Faience

This plate is a good example of this technique by Quimper.

French Faience

"Over the hill" means the hardest climb is over and the view is terrific.

Tips - Definitions - Clay Projects - Pottery Gallery - Pottery Tools - Glazes - All About Clay

Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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