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A ceramic shop in Cordoba, one of several in in the city, displays some of its wares on the wall next to the shop window. The bright colours and varied shapes caught my eye.

A ceramic is an inorganic, non-metallic, solid material comprising metal, non-metal or metalloid atoms primarily held in ionic and covalent bonds.

The crystallinity of ceramic materials ranges from highly oriented to semi-crystalline, vitrified, and often completely amorphous (e.g., glasses). Most often, fired ceramics are either vitrified or semi-vitrified as is the case with earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain. Varying crystallinity and electron consumption in the ionic and covalent bonds cause most ceramic materials to be good thermal and electrical insulators.

The earliest ceramics made by humans were pottery objects (i.e. pots or vessels) or figurines made from clay, either by itself or mixed with other materials like silica, hardened, sintered, in fire. Later ceramics were glazed and fired to create smooth, coloured surfaces, decreasing porosity through the use of glassy, amorphous ceramic coatings on top of the crystalline ceramic substrates.

Ceramics now include domestic, industrial and building products, as well as a wide range of ceramic art. In the 20th century, new ceramic materials were developed for use in advanced ceramic engineering, such as in semiconductors.

(Source: Wikipedia)

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 8980 W: 63 N: 25258] (112431)
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