The Ceramists Ushering in a New Era of Surrealism

These designers give commonplace items, like ashtrays and prawns, a creative spin.

You started the day with ceramics, and you’ll think about them a lot during the day. In your brick, cement, and glass home, you awoke to a quartz clock, had a shower in a tiled bathroom, and ate cereal off of ceramic bowls and plates.

The Ceramists Ushering in a New Era of Surrealism

You may have worked all day at a computer (using ceramic-based electronic components like microchips, capacitors, and resistors), come home for a drink, eaten on pottery plates, watched TV on a liquid-crystal display (or your Gorilla Glass smartphone), and then set your quartz clock in anticipation of another day at work.

Even though it may not be immediately obvious, we live in a ceramic world, much like humans did thousands of years ago. But what precisely are ceramics?


The Definition of Ceramics

This short list should make it clear that the term “ceramics” is extremely broad and that we will have trouble defining it because it encompasses a variety of materials, including glass, tiles, pottery, porcelain, bricks, cement, diamond, and graphite. What exactly ties these seemingly unrelated things together?

We can describe ceramics from a chemical perspective since certain chemical properties are absent. Because of this, ceramics are frequently described in dictionaries and scientific textbooks as nonmetallic and inorganic solids (i.e., those that aren’t metal or based on carbon molecules) (including wood, plastics, rubber, and anything that was once alive).

In some literature, the word “refractory,” which comes from the field of materials science, is used to refer to ceramics’ resistance to typical environmental stresses, such as high temperatures, chemical assaults (such those from acids and alkalis), and everyday wear and tear.

Last Words

To define materials, properties might serve as a valuable starting point (how they behave when we heat them, pass electricity through them, or soak them in water, for example).

However, if we do that, things can get confusing. Thanks fo reading our article The Ceramists Ushering in a New Era of Surrealism.