[Fr. poterie.] The term applied to all objects made out of baked clay. The art of forming utensils of clay is of very ancient origin, extending back to the early days of mankind. Its rudimentary condition, that of merely molding soft clay into the desired form and drying it by the heat of the sun, was succeeded by baking it in a fire to make it harder and less brittle. Other substances were afterwards mixed with the clay so as to make finer and more delicate pottery. Gradually the potter enhanced the value of the art by forming graceful designs, and by painting and decorating them, until at the present day the art of the potter is one of the most important. Pottery may be divided as regards material and baking into three kinds - earthenware, stoneware, and porcelain or china. The term pottery is applied to all ware of the opaque kind, while porcelain applies to that which is translucent.