Types of Clay Pots

Types of Clay Pots

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Do you want to learn how to make some great clay pots? Did you know that there are a lot of different types of clay pots that are out there that can make your pottery shine? Well, you’re in luck, for you’ll learn about some of the different types of clay pots that are here, and what each of them can do for you. You may know of some of them already, but we’re going to go into detail on some of the types of pots that you can make out of clay.

Types of Clay Pots


The first type of pot that we will discuss is earthenware. These are usually the most common when it comes to making clay pots, in that, they are simple to utilize and are good for those who want an easy pot that can be fired at a reasonable temperature.

Earthenware has different characteristics, and they are as follows:

  • Can be glazed or unglazed
  • Can be used for foodstuffs
  • Can be fired at lower temperatures

Usually, if you’re going to use this either on the stovetop or the oven, you need to be pretty careful, since the temperature changes that come along with this do cause it to crack. If you’re going to be using this clay pot type for cooking, you should make sure that you use a heat diffuser since it will buffer this, especially when using an electric, or even a ceramic stove.

When it’s unglazed, you should make sure that it’s seasoned before you use it. If you glaze, you should make sure that it’s soaked once.

Typically, the glazed pots are dishwasher safe, but if it’s not glazed, or porous, you should always hand wash so that the detergent doesn’t get absorbed in.

If you’re going to make these, you need to use a lot of glazing layers for this. Usually, there are impure particles in these, especially since the clay is from rivers where it gathers in deposits. Usually, the temperature range for all of this is 1700-2100 degrees on average.

Terra Cotta

This is a popular form of earthenware, and often the one that most potters use as a means to create pots. It’s called “baked earth” and it’s used both glazed and unglazed.

You usually can use this for various vessels and is considered extremely popular for this, including:

  • Water waste pipes, vessels such as flower pots
  • Vases and other wares

The reason why it’s called this is that of the brownish orange color, but of course, this varies as well.

This is an artful type of pottery, and many times, these are left unglazed. However, if you use this unglazed, it’s not food safe, but if you glaze it, you can usually use this for consumption do make sure that you hand wash these since it has the same particles that can soak the detergent in.

Usually, some people make vessels on the wheel with this, which is ultimately the most popular form of Terracotta pottery, since these vessels are very easy to make. With clay pots, using the wheel to make these ultimately yields a bunch of cool results and designs, and it can ultimately change the composition of the material as well.



Planters are in essence the clay pots that Terracotta and other earthenware make. You can use this with stoneware and porcelain as well, but they’re also a very popular type of clay pot. That’s because it allows for the following in different cases.

  • Poor water retention so it doesn’t affect the roots of the plant
  • Decent irrigation
  • Usually allows for the soil to breathe, and allows for the nutrients to mingle together
  • Ultimately houses plants well, and if they need to be moved, they work well

For those who are handy in the garden, these are often considered the best kind to make, simply because they’re this easy to do, and ultimately if you’ve ever wanted to make something easy on the wheel, this is usually your main one.


Stoneware is probably your second most popular type of pottery that you can make, and it’s a clay pot that’s got a firing temperature that’s medium compared to the rest of them. Usually, if you want to make anything that should be used for consumption, this is the type. That’s because it’s got different factors that differ from typical earthenware and other elements that make it kind of popular, including the following:

  • The clay is extremely durable
  • Has a higher firing compared to earthenware, which essentially means that it will usually have a much stronger and less porous outside
  • Typically has fewer impurities in it compared to earthenware, and usually, when these are fired, most of the impurities are burned out
  • Is less porous than earthenware, which means that the liquid won’t absorb the clay and possibly release toxins
  • Also good for those who want a pot that won’t leak
  • It also is usually dishwasher safe because it isn’t porous so you can use this in the dishwasher without toxins being released

Typically, these are used whenever you want to make something for consumption. Casserole dishes, pots for water and other contents, or anything that involves human consumption is usually made from stoneware, so always keep that in mind.


Finally, we have porcelain. They’re usually made from two types of clays, and they are as follows:

Typically, the clay that’s used both have similar qualities, and these qualities are what set porcelain apart from the rest. The two main qualities are as follows:

  • The very high temperature for firing to harden
  • Very few impurities, hence why it’s white

Of course, if you want to use colors to dye the porcelain in various colors, you can. There are glazes and such that do this, or you can make your clay recipe to do this. However, these two factors are always there in porcelain clay.

Now, this clay fires at a very high temperature. Usually, it’s anywhere between 2300-2900 degrees, depending on the clay type. The thing about porcelain is that the melting temperature is around 3000-3500 degrees before it even begins to melt, which means that it’s very hard.

Now, the thing with porcelain is that while it is super hard, it’s super fragile. That’s because of the way the particles interact. The particles are thinner after it’s been fully fired, so you need to be careful. You’ll also notice that while you can use a stain or glaze to give it the color, using a glaze to make it smooth is something that you don’t need to do. That’s because the surface of this type of clay is naturally very shiny, and it feels extremely smooth. Feel a porcelain plate, and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Now, porcelain is a great type of clay if you want to make something that’s hard and doesn’t need glazing, but remember that it is fragile. However, the good news is that it is dishwasher and food-safe for everyone, and usually, since it’s not porous at all, you never have to worry about the state of the dish being compromised. It’s quite nice, and it’s something that many who do use this type of clay see as advantageous.

Just remember though, that with this type of clay, you’re working with very high temperatures, so you should always be very careful. Some types of clay pots can use different types of firing and be porcelain but always make sure that you exercise lots of caution when using the firing temperatures for porcelain since it does make it very hot.

Assembled Pots

Types of Clay Pots

Then some pots are typed not because of the clay themselves, but because of the way that you make them. Usually, you make clay pots on the wheel right, through throwing and centering. Well, what about if you want to make a pot that’s a bit different? Assembled pots are a type of clay pot that is made differently, and there are a couple of ways to make them. How you do so is as follows:

  • You can create coils that build up, and then you can pinch them into the shape
  • You can use slabs on each of the walls, building this up to create a clay pot

Hand building is much more primitive than your usual wheel throwing though, and usually, it’s porous, so you can’t use it for cookware. But, if you want to create a uniquely designed pot, you totally can with this.

Usually, if you’re going for symmetry, you use the wheel to throw these, since the circular forms are very easy to make symmetrical. Usually, the ones that are handmade are classified by the type of assembly that’s done.

If you’re curious about making this type, ideally consider trying the coiled pots version. While you obviously can’t use this for anything more than decoration, it still can look very pretty, and it’s worth trying out if you like to make clay pots.

Clay Types for Pots

The type of clay also plays a part in the type of clay pot that you’re going to make. Two parts of this are usually regarded when you’re looking at this, and they are as follows;

  • Purity
  • Color

Usually, the type of color that you get determines the type of clay pot you’ll make. For example, if the clay is a reddish-brown color, chances are, it’s probably earthenware. For porcelain, you’ll get clay that’s 100% pure, which means that there are no impurities that are in it. If you get stoneware, you may notice that the clay is more gray or black, meaning that there might be impurities in it as well. Out of all of these, earthenware tends to have the most impurities, and porcelain has the least amount. That means, that usually if you’re going for porcelain china, for example, you’re getting white clay, and with no impurities.

Types of Clay Pots

Usually, pots that are made with are made with clays that are either red, yellow, white, black, or even gray, and if you want a different color, you use either stains or glazes to help you achieve this type of color.

Italian Clay

For those that love Terracotta, but want to try something different, there is one called Italian clay.

Italian clay is like Terracotta, but it’s a bit different. Usually, the clay has some small relief decorations on the piece itself. Usually, these relief decorations include the following;

  • Decorations on pots
  • Little indentations on pots
  • Little curves against the edge of the pots themselves

And other types of decorative factors that are used in creating these types of pots. Unlike other types of earthenware, Italian Terracotta is fired to a much higher temperature, which means it’s harder and more durable than some of the other types of earthenware that you may be familiar with. What does that mean for you? It’s got a more authentic Italian look to it, so if you’re going for the classic Italian style, this is ultimately the way to go.

Flame ware

Flameware isn’t aware that you flame, but in essence, it’s a type of ceramicware that’s flameproof, meaning that fire won’t damage it. It’s super popular due to its practicality, but it’s also much newer.

This type is a popular form of stoneware, and it contains various factors that help with why it’s helpful to use when cooking, they are as follows:

  • It’s extremely durable because it’s made with stoneware
  • It contains minerals that keep the vessels from suddenly expanding and contracting suddenly
  • It prevents cracking and other misshaping when you’re using this
  • You can use this on a stovetop, oven, or even in a double broiler

this is a popular type of stoneware, and if you’re looking to make something that’s ultimately very popular, you totally can, this type of pot inevitably creates some great results.

More on Clay Pots

Other types of clay pots definitely can help you take your pottery game to the next level. We’ll talk a bit more about them in this section and what some of them entail.

The first one that we will talk about is called a cazuela, which is a piece of earthenware that’s round and glazed all over. It’s got different types of characteristics, and here are some of the factors:

  • It’s round
  • Made of earthenware
  • Glazed all over but the bottom area
  • Comes in many different sizes
  • It works well and can stand most temperatures

It is perfect if you’re considering trying to create a pot that works well for  Mediterranean cooking, or if you want to get a shallow pot that can be used both within the oven and on the top of the stove. It’s a good one to make, and if you want to get into making more classic pottery, this is a good choice.

Another thing that you should always consider is the type of earthenware you’re making. If you’re going to be making earthenware for cooking, you should consider getting a flameware or earthenware pot. That’s because these usually have the following characteristics that are good if you’re going to be doing extensive cooking with these pots.

  • They tend to be deep, meaning that they have a lot of room for various contents
  • You can make these flameproof, meaning that it won’t burn when it’s on the stove
  • You can use these for gentle cooking, which means that the flavors will be preserved, and it’ll bind them very well
  • You’ll be able to use these with less of a tendency to burn food
  • You can clean up the different items that you make super easily

If you’re looking to make a splash with cooking, consider trying to make potterware like this, and you’ll be able to do a lot with it. Plus, making it is quite fun, and something that you should consider trying out.

Micaceous Clay Pots

This is an interesting type of clay that you can make pots out of, and they’re very good cooking vessels. There are some interesting characteristics, and if you’re looking to make cooking pots when you’re doing your pottery making, it serves a great purpose.

Some of the factors that this involves are the following:

  • It has a glittery surface to it
  • It is very hard
  • They tend to stand up to heat very well due to the type of clay
  • They tend to be big pots, so you’ll be able to use these for lots of food
  • They’re food-safe, so you obviously will be able to cook things in it
  • However, they tend to be porous unless you put a glaze on top of them, so you can’t use these for long periods when it comes to liquids, and there is no heat source nearby

If you’ve been curious about making an interesting clay pot, you can always try to make one of these. Ideally, I suggest buying the clay, since it’s easier to get than to make your own, and you’ll be able to get some great food from this quickly if you know exactly what it is that you’re doing to make them.


Finally, we’ve got tagines. These are dome or conical types of clay pots, and they’re kind of cool if you’re looking for something a bit different. But, it also has some other characteristics, and they are as follows:

  • They tend to have a cone shape
  • They hold a lot of content within them
  • They typically have a shallow base that’s like a chimney
  • It will keep the top cooler than the rest of the pot, which in turn will allow the steam to condense and drip
  • This is the ideal pot if you’re making food and you don’t want to dry it out

this is a popular type of pot that you can make, but due to the size and shape of this type of pot, it may be hard to create. So, if you’re curious about making one of these, you should look it up. Chances are, you’re going to need a wheel for this, so definitely get one if you don’t have it already

All of these pots are different types that you can make, and while some of them are simple, others aren’t. Plus, the types of pots that you can make aren’t just based on the shape, whether you build it by hand or make your own, but also can be adjusted based on the type of clay and other factors that you want to have. Plus, it also can be affected by the type of food that you want to make or even what type of things you want to do with this. It’s quite nice and very different from what you may be used to.

So now that you know about this, it’s time for you to choose the type of pot that you want to make. You can make pretty much anything your heart desires, and you can do a whole lot of different things with this. Ideally, if you know what you want to make, you can choose the types of clay pots that work for you that are out there. It’s ultimately based on if you want it to be functional ware, or decorative, and what you’re going to do with each of these clay pots once you finish making these pots at the end of the day.

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