China successively experienced three types of ceramics, determined by the quality of their clay and their cooking temperature: earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. Earthenware is porous, granular in texture; it breaks easily and does not ring when knocked. Stoneware is cooked at high temperatures, they are waterproof, hard, ring when knocked, and their clay is partially vitrified. Porcelain is, according to Western standards, white, completely vitrified and translucent.
But the Chinese do not distinguish stoneware and porcelain, as they use the same term for both.”Chinese Ceramics from the Neolithic period to the Song” illustrates the evolution of the art of pottery from the third millennium BC to the end of the Song Dynasty (the golden age of Chinese ceramics) in the thirteenth century AD.