Items such as pitchers, vases, pots, dinnerware, and decorative pieces that are made of clay are considered pottery. There are all types of pottery that are desired collectibles. Major types of pottery wares include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. You can find items from centuries ago to vintage pieces. Mid-century pottery and dinnerware are very popular now due to the modern and artistic flair.
Earthenware and stoneware are usually much thicker and heavier than porcelain. Although quite lovely, earthenware is a less expensive process to manufacture than porcelain. The advantages of pottery are the strength and durability over china making it a practical material for every day use.
Some famous makers of pottery that are very collectible today are Van Briggle, McCoy, Frankoma, Roseville, Weller, and Grueby.
Assessing pottery for value and as a collectible can start with its mark. Inspect the bottom of the pottery piece. The mark on the bottom will help you identify the manufacturer, the design code, etc. Searching for this information will give you clues of when, where, and who manufactured the item. As with any antique or collectible piece, its value is also determined by rarity, condition, provenance, and beauty.