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Ceramic and porcelain

The term ceramic can be applied to many forms of hard non-metallic materials. Traditional use of the term refers to any type of pottery. Ceramics have a high melting point, so can be fired at high temperatures, and tend to be brittle. Those used in pottery contain clay minerals which bind together when kiln fired at high temperatures.

Types of ceramic pottery include earthenware, stoneware, bone china and porcelain, the latter being the finest and most expensive ceramic. Each type contains a different mixture of minerals and requires a different firing process.



(Kiln Fire Chart)

Bone china is, as its name suggests, made from bone—cow bone in particular. Bone china ware was originally developed as a substitute for real or hard-paste porcelain in the late 1700s as kaolin clay is very rare and hard to find in Europe. Bone china is fired at a lower temperature which makes it easier to produce.

Porcelain, the most elegant of ceramics, is renowned for how well it holds it shape when being formed. Because of this it has often been used to make decorative and complex pieces. It combines delicacy and strength and has a pure white colour meaning it has always been highly prized.

Authentic hard-paste porcelain contains kaolin clay. This type of ceramic was mastered in China almost 1500 years ago using kaolin mined near Jingdezhen, which was later to become the porcelain capital.

The methods used in production, including high firing temperatures, mean that hard-paste porcelain pieces are difficult and expensive to create. To this day porcelain remains the most sought-after and collectible ceramic on the market.

Here at Delain, we proudly present premium hard-paste porcelain made from the kaolin clay mined in Jingdezhen and carefully handcrafted by the ceramic artists representing the intersection of contemporary artistic expression and traditional craftsmanship that handed down through generations.


© 2016 Delain

References and further readings:
<China’s Porcelain Capital> by Maris Boyd Gillette, 2016
<A Book of Porcelain. Fine examples in the Victoria & Albert Museum> by Bernard Rackham, Illustrator William Gibb, 2015
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