The word “ceramics” originates from the Greek word “keramos”. Keramos refers to the clay that potters use and it includes all of the products made with clay that use heat during their production phases. This use of heat during the production is what makes the clay products permanent.

The term also has other usages, such as referring to the actual person, the ceramicist. Nowadays we usually use the word “potter”, which is used to refer to a person that makes the clay products. While it is obvious that the word ceramics is usually associated with art, and is sometimes used as an alternative word for pottery, it has its usages in other fields as well, which have nothing to do with art. For instance, it is also used in medical context, and certainly does not refer to anything related with pottery. 

It can also be used when talking about electronics, engine parts and so on.