Stoneware vessels were fired at a higher temperature than their earthenware counterparts, typically between 1200 C and 1400 C, to create a fully fused ceramic body impervious to water. Typically vessels would be treated with a salt- or ash-glaze, introduced during the final stages of the firing process, to create 'once-fired' vessels. The body and the glaze mature at the same time to form an integrated body-glaze layer. This technique allowed for quicker and cheaper production of vessels than tin-glazed wares, which required two or more firings.
Salt-glazing was the most common form of treatment for stoneware vessels. It probably originated in the Rhineland, concurrently with the development of the stoneware industry. A salt solution would be introduced into the kiln, chemical reactions then taking place vaporised the salt, releasing soda and hydrochloric acid. The soda fused with the clay body of the vessel, often giving a very characteristic 'orange-peel' effect, to form an integrated glaze very resistant to chemicals and impervious to liquids.
|German (1300 - 1800)|
|London (1650 - 1900)|
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