The difference between porcelain and pottery is that porcelain is translucent and allows light to penetrate. No light passes through pottery. Ceramics are made from clay, water and other additives. The clay is shaped and then fired in a kiln.
Most people think of pottery as generally containers that are made from clay. The word “Pot” is a word generally used for a number of container forms. The word is derived from the Old English word “potian”, which means “to push”. The potter pushes and throws the clay around on the potters wheel. You can now see how this process got its name.
Ceramics are items made from materials that are changed permanently when subjected to high heat. Technically clay has chemically bonded water in the clay which causes it to disintegrate down when fired or subjected to high heat. Once clay is heated (or fired) from temperatures ranging between 660⁰ and 1470⁰F the clay is transformed into ceramic and will never dissolve again.
I consider myself more of a ceramic artists because I create clay artwork. I could be called a clay artist which is almost the the same as a ceramic artist. The main difference between the two is that clay artist generally do not fire their own work.
Updated by EBeeArt on June 27, 2016.