In many examples, the group to which the object belongs is immediately distinguished visually, but this is not always the case.
The fritware of the Islamic world does not use clay, so technically falls outside these groups. Historic pottery of all these types is often grouped as either fine wares, relatively expensive and well-made, and following the aesthetic taste of the culture.
Because unglazed biscuit earthenware is porous, it has limited utility for the storage of liquids or as tableware. However, earthenware has had a continuous history from the Neolithic period to today. It can be made from a wide variety of clays.
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The Chinese, who developed stoneware very early, classify it, along with porcelain, as highly burned ware of all these types.
Glaze is a glassy coating on pottery, the primary purposes of which are decoration and protection
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The clay must be prepared before it can be shaped. Kneading helps to ensure that the entire body is evenly moist. Air trapped in the clay body must be removed. This is called de-airing and can be done either with a machine called a vacuum mop or manually by prodding. Wedging can also help to achieve an even moisture content. Consider this when making clay dishes.
Different clay bodies also differ in the way in which they respond when fired in the kiln. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing. Prior to some shaping processes, clay must be prepared.
Each of these different clays is composed different types and amounts of minerals that determine the characteristics of resulting pottery. There can be regional variations in the properties of raw materials used for the production of pottery, and these can lead to wares that are unique in locality