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Porcelain technlogy

The process for creation of porcelain is a very complex one, characterized by several physic and chemical transformations of the raw materials used to obtain the final product. Porcelain is a ceramic material obtained by burning of the raw materials, including clay as kaolin. The burning is made in a kiln at a temperature that reaches 1400 °C. The resistance and the transparency come mostly from the formation of the glass that covers the surface of the product (the glaze) and of the minerals inside the product burned at these high temperatures.

As basic rules that had to be respected in order to obtain a high quality porcelain should be:

  • use of raw materials of the best quality
  • use of high technology
  • permanent qualification of all the employers
  • cleanliness of the working place (the production hall)

By its destination, the porcelain is divided in various categories:

  • tableware porcelain (plates, cups, trays, bowls etc.)
  • decoration porcelain (knitted baskets, statuettes, vases etc)

Also, tableware porcelain in divided, by means of the technology used to make it, in:

  • portelan porcelain obtained through forming (made on machines with high productivity) – mostly porcelain articles with symmetric shape
  • porcelain obtained by casting (made by hand – low productivity) – porcelain articles with asymmetric shape

This entire technological process lasts 5 working days, since the moment of the reception of the raw materials until the moment when the final product, made with these raw materials, is delivered to the beneficiary. 

So, during this time, each and every error in the technological process will be seen only at the end of those 5 days. This particular aspect of the porcelain involves very high risks, because during this time the production is made in various technological phases, and if there is to be found some nonconformity next to the final product, the whole lot of products existent in different stages of production at that time will be rejected.

Porcelain history

Ceramic is a product obtained by special procedures from clay, kaolin, sand and talc. The word ceramic came from the Greek keramos, meaning clay. The technique and the art of the porcelain processing were obtained for the first time in China and had various development periods. For the first time the porcelain was painted during the Sun Dynasty. In the XVII – XVIII century the Chinese porcelain had a great artistic development. Green, pink and black porcelain become very famous. 

In Europe porcelain became known in the XVII century because of the Chinese articles brought by the Portuguese sailors; those articles were sold equally to their weight in gold. The appearance of the Chinese porcelain sustained the imitation. 

The price of porcelain was very high. The King of Saxony has built a porcelain factory at Meissen in 1710. This manufacture, in the beginning, imitated the shapes and the ornaments of the Chinese porcelain. Later the porcelain from Meissen was influenced by the Rococo style. 

The characteristics on Meissen porcelain are the blue A.R. monogram, two swords, a handle of a whip. Meissen porcelain is known as Saxa Porcelain. 

In 1717 a second manufacture was founded at Vienna, then in France – 1740, Petersburg – 1744, Naples – 1771, Copenhagen – 1779, etc. 

In France, the porcelain manufacture was at Vincennes in 1740, then moved in 1756 in Sevres and in 1759 it became a royal property. Here they made flowers, ornamental vases, various sets, statuettes etc. from the so called soft porcelain, and in 1768 they used hard porcelain. Sevres porcelain is distinguished by delicate and shiny colors, and also by a pure glaze. 

The main types of art porcelain are: hard porcelain, soft porcelain, also called tender porcelain, natural porcelain or English porcelain, artificial porcelain or French porcelain. 

In the beginning porcelain was used only for the fabrication of dinner sets and all kind of ornamental vases. Because of its proprieties, as: resistance at the action of acids and alkali, electric and thermal isolator, porcelain is used in electric industry as isolator, and in technical field for the products and objects used in laboratories.