Porcelain can be split into three "main" types:
* True or Hard Paste
* Artificial or Soft Paste
* Bone China
Porcelain, with a white fine-grained body, is usually translucent, distinguishing it from earthenware which is opaque, porous, and coarser.
Hard Paste - what is it?
First made in China, this True or Hard Paste porcelain was made of petuntse, or China stone (a feldspathic rock), ground to powder and mixed with kaolin (white China clay). During its first firing, the petuntse was vitrified, while the kaolin ensured the object retained its shape.
Kaolinite, feldspar, and quartz (or other forms of silicates) continue to be the basics for continental European hard-paste porcelain.
True or hard-paste porcelain required a firing temperature of around 1,450 °C
Soft-Paste - what's the difference?
Medieval European potters attempted to imitate China’s hard-paste porcelain, which led to the eventual discovery of the artificial or soft-paste variant, a mixture of clay and ground glass, soft-paste porcelain can generally be distinguished from true porcelain by its softer body. Soft-paste porcelain was first made in Europe around 1575, but due to slumping in the kiln at high temperatures and low quality, it was the late 17th and 18th centuries before it was produced in quantity.
Artificial or soft paste has a "softer" firing temperature of around 1,200 °C
The Difference: Soft-paste porcelain can be cut with a file, while hard-paste cannot.
Bone China variant
The standard English bone China was produced by Thomas Frye in East London in 1748, by adding calcined bones to the hard-paste porcelain formula. Bone China is now made worldwide, including in China. Bone China is traditionally made of two parts bone-ash, one part kaolin, and one part China stone, though China stone has now largely been replaced by feldspars from non-UK sources. This is a third variant called Hybrid hard-paste porcelain.
Biscuit (Bisque) porcelain is unglazed, treated as a finished product mostly for figurines and sculpture, porcelain wares do not require glazing to render them impermeable to liquids, for the most part, glazing is for decorative purposes, to make them resistant to dirt and staining. It is based on Kaolin, Feldspar, and Flint - then mixed with water to make a paste called Slip. It is poured into casts and is allowed to set where the excess water gets soaked up by the plaster casts to harden more quickly around the sides. Then it is then fired at temperatures above 1260 °C
Dirt accumulation on an unglazed base can be removed only with difficulty, if at all. True porcelain however can easily be cleaned and is highly impermeable and practical to hold liquids such as an oil dispenser.
The Bright Angle wares
You might be living in a farmhouse where the wares you are looking to decorate the kitchen with, serve food and drink brings style and fits the decor. From an olive oil cruet adorned with a pour spout to flower pots that are handmade and give you that warm feeling of non-mass-produced ceramic products. Take our Olive Oil Dispenser bottle, for example, its classic shape can accentuate any dinner table, kitchen counter, or island.
At The Bright Angle we love working with this amazing material, not just for the properties but for the art it delivers around a home. Some highlights of some of these products are below:
Your new favorite cup has arrived. Our Modern Porcelain Pottery Pint Cup is a superior alternative to stoneware and terracotta household goods.
The Bright Angle’s Nesting Bowls are handmade from porcelain, the noblest ceramic material, that surpasses both terra-cotta and stoneware clay in quality.
This handmade porcelain table vase by The Bright Angle is available in six different colored glazes and surpasses both ceramic stoneware and terracotta in quality. The Bloom Flower Vase’s simple, elegant design is the perfect compliment to any flower arrangement.
The Native Planter is a modern handmade ceramic porcelain planter and tray that provides a superior environment to terracotta or stoneware for plants to grow.
This handmade wine cup will become your favorite way to enjoy wine. Discover the feel of porcelain, a superior ceramic material to stoneware and terracotta.