A Beginner's Guide to Buying Dinnerware
Dishes, dinnerware, china. No matter. It's all beautiful. If you're considering starting a vintage dinnerware collection, you really can't go wrong. But knowledge is power, no? So here is a petite tutorial to guide your search.
Let's start with porcelain.
Stoneware is made from from unrefined clay. Stoneware clay has a grittier texture than porcelain clay due to its higher sand content. Like porcelain, stoneware is fired at a high temperature, and the result is a piece of pottery that is strong and chip resistant. Stoneware if often used to make mugs and baking dishes and can be safely heated in ovens and microwaves. Stoneware is a popular choice for dinnerware because it's durable and less expensive than porcelain. It tends to have a more modern appearance than porcelain, which makes it appealing to collectors looking to amass a collection of dishes that doesn't look like their grandmother's collection.
Earthenware is fired at a lower temperature than porcelain and stoneware, making it less durable, but also more flexible in design. Earthenware can be strengthened by glazing. Glazing hardens the surface of the pottery, allowing it to be used for every day uses. Ironstone is a type of earthenware with an extremely strong glaze to protect it.
You can find earthenware in a wide variety of patterns, colors and textures. From a design perspective, earthenware is the most flexible.