Difference between Pottery and Ceramics
By Rebecca Rodriguez - August 9, 2022

Both pottery and ceramics are thought to mean the same thing. Besides, they both almost immediately evoke an image of kitchen utensils. However, despite the commonalities, the two crafts differ on more than one front. Keep reading to find out more about the differences between pottery and ceramics.

Table Summary

It refers to containers (and some objects) made from clay.Ceramic consists of any number of materials.

It can also refer to clay artwork.

The creation process requires no added materials.Usually includes other materials such as glazes, silica carbide, or zirconium oxide
Less durable than ceramicsMade of durable material
Physically dull-coloredCeramics have a glassy or crystalline look
Typically porous and absorbs water, which may disintegrate it.Particles are tightly packed and non-porous
Can transition to become Ceramics after a firing process known as sintering.It cannot transition to become clay unless destroyed.


Pottery is the art of making objects and forms out of clay. Some craft methods are unique to pottery, such as molding and pinching clay while it spins on the wheel. Pottery can be further classified as either stoneware, earthenware, or porcelain.

Similar to pottery, ceramics is also an art that involves building objects and forms from scratch using several materials. Unlike pottery, ceramics look glossy or crystalline and are usually made of durable material.

Pottery VS Ceramics

A very tricky way to explain the difference between ceramics and pottery is to describe pottery as an early version of ceramics. Ceramic describes a material that is neither organic nor metallic with no chemical reactivity and becomes denser under high heat. Physically, ceramics have a crystalline or glassy look – sometimes both. With this definition, it is thus possible for a piece of pottery to become ceramic if it has gone through a firing process where it is heated up to 900 degrees and dehydrated. However, clay pieces are not the only ones that can achieve the qualities that make up ceramics. Other cement, brick, and glass materials can also be processed to form ceramics.