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It is common for clays and other materials to be mixed to produce clay bodies suited to specific purposes.
A common component of clay bodies is the mineral kaolinite.
A clay body can be decorated before or after firing.
As a rough guide, modern earthenwares are normally fired at temperatures in the range of about 1,000°C (1,830 °F) to 1,200 °C (2,190 °F); stonewares at between about 1,100 °C (2,010 °F) to 1,300 °C (2,370 °F); and porcelains at between about 1,200 °C (2,190 °F) to 1,400 °C (2,550 °F).Glaze is a glassy coating on pottery, the primary purposes of which are decoration and protection.One important use of glaze is to render porous pottery vessels impermeable to water and other liquids.The properties which make them different include: Plasticity, the malleability of the body; the extent to which they will absorb water after firing; and shrinkage, the extent of reduction in size of a body as water is removed.Different clay bodies also differ in the way in which they respond when fired in the kiln.