Earthenware, or pottery, is a type of ceramic that is fired at low temperatures and so is porous, opaque and absorbs water.  Earthenware clay is typically red or orange, and can turn brown or even black if fired at higher temperatures.  Due to its lower mechanical strength than other ceramics, it can be easily shaped.  Another characteristic is that hand painting and multi-colored decoration can be used in the glazing process, allowing for vibrant designs not often found when other clay materials are used.

Earthenware collections are dishwasher safe, but not all are microwave safe.  Further, some earthenware is also oven safe, but typically needs to be soaked prior to heating due to its porous nature.  Refer to specific product care instructions. 

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