Terminology – Glossary

Here are a few terms used in this guide, the pottery industry & the collecting community.  There were a lot more that could be added, but I tried to cover the terms used the most.  I hope this helps you understand the terminology a little better. 

a/k/a – Also known as

B&B – Bread & butter plate

Bisque – Pottery which has been fired once, without glaze, to a temperature just before vitrification.

Crazing – Crazing is the fine crackling (spidery cracks) you often see on glazed pottery.  

Discontinued color / piece – It is just not being produced at the time.  HLC can bring it back whenever they choose.

Dry Foot vs Wet Foot – The foot is the area that piece of ware will touch the surface area.  As you can see in the below photo, a wet foot is totally glazed.  A dry foot on the other hand is wiped cleaned of any glazing and you can feel the exposed clay. (click on photo to see more detail)

Wet Dry Foot






ELHSAA – East Liverpool High School Alumni Assoc – HLC, Hall China & Bunting donate a limited piece in a very limited number with proceeds going to the ELHSAA.

Embossed – a design or stamp that is raised above the pottery so that is stands out.

F100 or other 4 digit number – You will notice on the Fiesta® boxes a number code (IE F100).  Prior to the computer age (approx. 2000), the pattern number was preceded by a letter that designated the shape the color was going on.  Hence F100 means White glaze on a Fiesta® piece.

Factory Glaze Chip – Is a chip that occurred on the ware prior to firing and glazing. Sometimes it looks like someone picked it up & left their finger impression on the piece.

Factory Glaze Chip






Flatware – Plates, trays, saucers, etc.

Flea Bite – Is a tiny mostly round little nick. It should not be any larger than the size of a pencil point.

General Release
– Available to sell by all retailers, ie: internet, department, independent, etc.

General Retailers – All retailers – IE: internet, brick & mortar, etc.

Glaze Chip – Is just a chip, which involves flaking of the glaze.  It does not impact the clay in any way.

Glaze Pop – This occurred during firing when air bubbles reached the surface of the glaze and burst.

Glaze Pops






Glaze Skip / Crawls – Are areas in the ware where the color glaze did not completely cover the ware during manufacture.  This will leave areas of exposed clay, or may have a final, shiny glaze over it.    

Greenware – Unfired pottery. 

Hairline – Is a very tight, narrow crack that goes into or through the ware. It does not affect the structural integrity of the ware & may not be immediately visible.  

Hollowware – Cups, mugs, pitchers, vases, etc.

HLC – Homer Laughlin China Co.™

HLCCA – Homer Laughlin China Collector’s Association™

Incised – A mark or pattern cut into the ware. (See Back Stamps)

Independent Retailer – Small brick & mortar store retailers. Excludes stores like Macy’s, Dillard’s, Kohl’s …

Kiln Kiss – Occurs when the ware in the kiln comes in contact with either another piece of ware or the kiln wall.

Mold Mark – Rough, raised mold lines or seams which were not smoothed during manufacture.

n/k/a – Now known as

NOP – Not officially produced, but known to exist in very limited quantities.

P86 – Fiesta® produced after 1986.

Peppering – Is the minute black specks of carbon that is sometimes seen on the light colored glazes.







Retired Color – It will not be produced by HLC again. According to HLC’s website’s frequently asked questions, it would hurt the collect-ability of the color. (rev 3-5-15)

Sagger Pin Marks – Sagger marks are found on vintage Fiesta®.  These marks (usually 3) are not considered damage.  The marks are left on the ware after being fired in a sagger.  A sagger is a fireproof container that the pottery is placed in to protect it during the firing process.  (click on photo to see more detail)

Sagger Marks






Sand Bump – Is just that. A piece of sand ends up on the piece of ware & is fired into the piece.  Sometimes the bump will be sharp to the touch, other times it may be smooth & glazed over.

Sand Bumps






Stickers- HLC Identification

“H” Sticker – The “H” sticker represents the design number.  This number is given when the HLC art department is designing a new decorated piece for their client. The number below the design number represents the HLC piece of ware that the design will go on.  This would be considered a prototype.

This is an example of one of our ornaments HLC did for us back in 2003. “H12831” is the design & “#761” is the HLC item number for a Fiesta® ornament.

H Back Stamp Plum Crazy Front - H Sticker






You will notice the “H” number has a “-3” after the main number.  This additional number represents the number of design changes. You can see the design changes in the photos.

H Sticker - 3rd Revision H Sticker - 3rd Revision Front






“BC” sticker – The “BC” sticker represents the design / pattern number assigned after the client has approved the final design.  The number changes from the issued “H” number to a new “BC” number.  Below is an example showing the appetizer plate in the Spooky Haunted House design. On the left is a sample plate showing the BC number #146141042.  The first four numbers (#1461) represent the item number for the appetizer plate & the last five numbers (#41042) represent the pattern number. On the right is the SKU sticker for the same plate with the Spooky Haunted House decoration ready to be sold to the public.  You can see on the SKU sticker the same item & pattern number as shown on the BC sticker.   Please note, there will not always be 10 numbers.  Earlier designs may only have 7 numbers so you need to familiarize yourself with the item numbers so you can figure this coding correctly.
This would be considered a sample not a prototype. (Rev 3-19-15)

Fiesta® Spooky Haunted House Appetizer Plate BC Sticker Fiesta® Spooky Haunted House Appetizer Plate SKU Sticker

Sample sticker – Below is just a plain sample sticker.  The top number usually represents the piece of ware and the bottom number represents the color or pattern number. You will notice that the photo shows the base of a medium vase.  The “F” in front of the color number (F103) represents Fiesta® Rose glaze. HLC has actually converted to a 4 digit numbering system for their colors, due to upgrading computers. Rose would be 0103.  However, you can still find boxes of current Fiesta® stamped with the “F” and color number.
NOTE:  When Fiesta® was first being produced the medium vase number was 783.  It was later changed to 491.

Sample Sticker






Vitreous – Pertaining to the hard finish of a fired glaze, or the non-absorbency of a fired body.

Vitrification – Process by which clay materials bond to become dense, non-absorbent, and glassified after firing.



Updated 9-1-2015

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