Monday, February 20, 2012

P is for Porcelain

Porcelain is a very hard, translucent white ceramic that dates back to China well before the 1500's. Kaolin clay, abundant in the Kaoling region, was combined with other ground elements (feldspar, silicate, granite) and fired in kilns. The elegant product of this is a resilient, translucent piece of pottery. Hard Paste Porcelain, fired at extremely high temperatures, has strong thin walls with a glass like translucent finish. Soft Paste Porcelain is fired at lower temperatures, resulting in less translucence and less fragility. The European community was so enamored with the translucent effect of the hard paste porcelain they attempted to replicate it with the addition of powdered animal bones to increase the china's durability. Thus the name Bone China beginning in the late 1700's.. Both Chinese and European china were exported to those American colonists who could afford it and had the luxury of celebrating 'special' occasions at the time. To this day, American made porcelain products fall short of that elegant Chinese and European quality.

Got porcelain? Feel special any day of the week!


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