It's really pretty simple; I make stoneware pottery. That would include porcelain too. I fire (heat) my pottery to cone 10 i.e. about 2300° F or 1260° C. That is to say they are made to be about the hardest and most durable you can buy. In the world of pottery the higher the temperature the harder the wares are. My pots should be used every day, they are happy in the dishwasher, oven and microwave. You can scrub them with whatever you have in the kitchen to scrub pots or pans. As it turns out they are harder than the pots and pans, they are just more brittle.
Stoneware pottery is defined as having less that 4% water absorption and cannot be scratched with steel. Depending on the clay body used most of my pottery will have less than 2% water absorption and the porcelain is less that 1%.
Most people don't know that earthenware is defined by having a much higher porosity and it will absorb even more water; as a matter of fact it can even leak some. Also earthenware is not heated to as high a temperature, therefore, its much softer and chips much more easily. A very good example of earthenware is crockery. Also earthenware is used for water coolers. People put water in those and it cools the water due to it seeping out and evaporating and cooling.
I make all my wares to be used in the kitchen, even if they are just a thing of art. What I mean by this is I use the same materials and heat the pottery to the same temperature always. I never use any toxic materials (like lead) in any of my formulations. And I personally formulate all my glaze recipes and some of my clay body material too.
I make Stoneware and Porcelain pottery from scratch one piece at a time at home; please take the time to look at the picture galleries on this site.