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. 

Earthenware dates back to the earliest times and is the softest material used in the production of dinnerware.  It has lower mechanical strength than other ceramics and therefore 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 found when other clay materials are used.

Faience is a stronger form of earthenware, due to the addition of kaolin, the clay that is essential to the production of porcelain.  This results in a soft white color, unlike standard earthenware.

Typically 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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