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Porcelain () is a
ceramic A ceramic is any of the various hard, brittle, heat-resistant and corrosion-resistant materials made by shaping and then firing a nonmetallic mineral, such as clay, at a high temperature. Common examples are earthenware, porcelain, and brick. ...
material made by heating materials, generally including a material like
kaolin Kaolinite () is a clay mineral, with the chemical composition Al2Si2O5(OH)4. It is an important industrial mineral. It is a layered silicate mineral, with one tetrahedral sheet of silica () linked through oxygen atoms to one octahedral sheet o ...
, in a
kiln , Wrecclesham, Surrey with the preserved bottle kiln on the right of photo kiln under construction Image:CarKiln5951.JPG, 250px, An empty, intermittent kiln. This specific example is a "car kiln"; the base is on wheels and has been rolled out ...
to temperatures between . The strength, and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelai ...
, arises mainly from
vitrification 300px, A vitrification experiment, using molten glass. Vitrification (from Latin ''vitreum'', "glass" via French ''vitrifier'') is the transformation of a substance into a glass, that is to say, a non-crystalline amorphous solid. Structurally glasses ...
and the formation of the mineral
mullite Mullite or porcelainite is a rare silicate mineral of . It can form two stoichiometric forms: 3Al2O32SiO2 or 2Al2O3 SiO2. Unusually, mullite has no charge-balancing cations present. As a result, there are three different aluminium sites: two distort ...
within the body at these high temperatures. Though definitions vary, porcelain can be divided into three main categories: hard-paste, soft-paste and
bone china Bone china is a type of porcelain that is composed of bone ash, feldspathic material, and kaolin. It has been defined as "ware with a translucent body" containing a minimum of 30% of phosphate derived from animal bone and calculated calcium phospha ...
. The category that an object belongs to depends on the composition of the paste used to make the body of the porcelain object and the firing conditions. Porcelain slowly evolved in China and was finally achieved (depending on the definition used) at some point about 2,000 to 1,200 years ago, then slowly spread to other East Asian countries, and finally Europe and the rest of the world. Its manufacturing process is more demanding than that for
earthenware Earthenware is glazed or unglazed nonvitreous pottery that has normally been fired below . Basic earthenware, often called terracotta, absorbs liquids such as water. However, earthenware can be made impervious to liquids by coating it with a cer ...
and
stoneware Stoneware is a rather broad term for pottery or other ceramics fired at a relatively high temperature. A modern technical definition is a vitreous or semi-vitreous ceramic made primarily from stoneware clay or non-refractory fire clay. Whether vit ...
, the two other main types of pottery, and it has usually been regarded as the most prestigious type of pottery for its delicacy, strength, and its white colour. It combines well with both glazes and paint, and can be modelled very well, allowing a huge range of decorative treatments in tablewares, vessels and
figurine upChinese porcelain blanc de Chine figure of Guanyin, Ming dynasty ">Ming_dynasty.html" style="text-decoration: none;"class="mw-redirect" title="Guanyin, Ming dynasty">Guanyin, Ming dynasty A figurine (a diminutive form of the word ''figure' ...
s. It also has many uses in technology and industry. The European name, porcelain in English, comes from the old Italian ''porcellana'' (
cowrie shell Cowrie or cowry (plural cowries) is the common name for a group of small to large sea snails, marine gastropod mollusks in the family Cypraeidae, the cowries. The term ''porcelain'' derives from the old Italian term for the cowrie shell (''por ...
) because of its resemblance to the surface of the shell. Porcelain is also referred to as china or fine china in some English-speaking countries, as it was first seen in imports from China.
Properties Property (''latin: Res Privata'') in the abstract is what belongs to or with something, whether as an attribute or as a component of said thing. In the context of this article, it is one or more components (rather than attributes), whether physic ...
associated with porcelain include low permeability and elasticity; considerable
strength Physical strength *Physical strength, as in people or animals *Hysterical strength, extreme strength occurring when people are in life-and-death situations *Superhuman strength, great physical strength far above human capability *A common charact ...
,
hardness Hardness is a measure of the resistance to localized plastic deformation induced by either mechanical indentation or abrasion. In general, different materials differ in their hardness; for example hard metals such as titanium and beryllium are ha ...
, whiteness,
translucency In the field of optics, transparency (also called pellucidity or diaphaneity) is the physical property of allowing light to pass through the material without appreciable scattering of light. On a macroscopic scale (one where the dimensions invest ...
and
resonance Resonance describes the phenomenon of increased amplitude that occurs when the frequency of a periodically applied force (or a Fourier component of it) is equal or close to a natural frequency of the system on which it acts. When an oscillati ...

resonance
; and a high resistance to chemical attack and
thermal shock Thermal shock is a type of rapidly transient mechanical load. By definition, it is a mechanical load caused by a rapid change of temperature of a certain point. It can be also extended to the case of a thermal gradient, which makes different part ...
. Porcelain has been described as being "completely vitrified, hard, impermeable (even before glazing), white or artificially coloured, translucent (except when of considerable thickness), and resonant". However, the term "porcelain" lacks a universal definition and has "been applied in an unsystematic fashion to substances of diverse kinds which have only certain surface-qualities in common". Traditionally, East Asia only classifies pottery into low-fired wares (earthenware) and high-fired wares (often translated as porcelain), the latter also including what Europeans call
stoneware Stoneware is a rather broad term for pottery or other ceramics fired at a relatively high temperature. A modern technical definition is a vitreous or semi-vitreous ceramic made primarily from stoneware clay or non-refractory fire clay. Whether vit ...
, which is high-fired but not generally white or translucent. Terms such as "proto-porcelain", "porcellaneous" or "near-porcelain" may be used in cases where the ceramic body approaches whiteness and translucency.


Types


Hard paste

Hard-paste porcelain was invented in China, and also used in
Japanese porcelain , is one of the oldest Japanese crafts and art forms, dating back to the Neolithic period. Kilns have produced earthenware, pottery, stoneware, glazed pottery, glazed stoneware, porcelain, and blue-and-white ware. Japan has an exceptionally long ...
, and most of the finest quality porcelain wares are in this material. The earliest European porcelains were produced at the Meissen factory in the early 18th century; they were formed from a paste composed of
kaolin Kaolinite () is a clay mineral, with the chemical composition Al2Si2O5(OH)4. It is an important industrial mineral. It is a layered silicate mineral, with one tetrahedral sheet of silica () linked through oxygen atoms to one octahedral sheet o ...
and
alabaster Alabaster is a mineral or rock that is soft, often used for carving, and is processed for plaster powder. Archaeologists and the stone processing industry use the word differently from geologists. The former use it in a wider sense that includes ...

alabaster
and fired at temperatures up to in a wood-fired kiln, producing a porcelain of great hardness, translucency, and strength. Later, the composition of the Meissen hard paste was changed and the alabaster was replaced by
feldspar Feldspars () are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals that make up about 41% of the Earth's continental crust by weight. Feldspars crystallize from magma as both intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks and are also present in many type ...
and
quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall chemical formul ...
, allowing the pieces to be fired at lower temperatures. Kaolinite, feldspar and quartz (or other forms of
silica Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, is an oxide of silicon with the chemical formula , most commonly found in nature as quartz and in various living organisms. In many parts of the world, silica is the major constituent of sand. Silica is one ...

silica
) continue to constitute the basic ingredients for most continental European hard-paste porcelains.


Soft paste

Soft-paste porcelains date back from the early attempts by European potters to replicate Chinese porcelain by using mixtures of clay and
frit A frit is a ceramic composition that has been fused, quenched, and granulated. Frits form an important part of the batches used in compounding enamels and ceramic glazes; the purpose of this pre-fusion is to render any soluble and/or toxic compone ...
. Soapstone and lime were known to have been included in these compositions. These wares were not yet actual porcelain wares as they were not hard nor vitrified by firing
kaolin Kaolinite () is a clay mineral, with the chemical composition Al2Si2O5(OH)4. It is an important industrial mineral. It is a layered silicate mineral, with one tetrahedral sheet of silica () linked through oxygen atoms to one octahedral sheet o ...
clay at high temperatures. As these early formulations suffered from high pyroplastic deformation, or slumping in the kiln at high temperatures, they were uneconomic to produce and of low quality. Formulations were later developed based on kaolin with
quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall chemical formul ...
,
feldspar Feldspars () are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals that make up about 41% of the Earth's continental crust by weight. Feldspars crystallize from magma as both intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks and are also present in many type ...
s,
nepheline syenite Nepheline, also called nephelite (from Greek: νεφέλη, "cloud"), is a rock forming mineral in the feldspathoid group: a silica-undersaturated aluminosilicate, Na3KAl4Si4O16, that occurs in intrusive and volcanic rocks with low silica, and in ...
or other feldspathic rocks. These were technically superior, and continue to be produced. Soft-paste porcelains are fired at lower temperatures than hard-paste porcelain, therefore these wares are generally less hard than hard-paste porcelains.


Bone china

Although originally developed in England in 1748 to compete with imported porcelain,
bone china Bone china is a type of porcelain that is composed of bone ash, feldspathic material, and kaolin. It has been defined as "ware with a translucent body" containing a minimum of 30% of phosphate derived from animal bone and calculated calcium phospha ...
is now made worldwide, including China. The English had read the letters of
Jesuit The Society of Jesus (SJ; la, Societas Iesu) is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and six companions with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The members are called Jesuits ...
missionary
François Xavier d'Entrecolles François Xavier d'Entrecolles (1664 in Lyon – 1741 in Beijing; Chinese name: 殷弘绪, Yin Hongxu) was a French Jesuit priest, who learned the Chinese technique of manufacturing porcelain through his investigations in China at Jingdezhen with th ...
, which described Chinese porcelain manufacturing secrets in detail. One writer has speculated that a misunderstanding of the text could possibly have been responsible for the first attempts to use bone-ash as an ingredient of English porcelain, although this is not supported by researchers and historians. Traditionally, English bone china was made from two parts of
bone ash Bone ash is a white material produced by the calcination of bones. Typical bone ash consists of about 55.82% calcium oxide, 42.39% phosphorus pentoxide, and 1.79% water. The exact composition of these compounds varies depending upon the type of bone ...
, one part of
kaolin Kaolinite () is a clay mineral, with the chemical composition Al2Si2O5(OH)4. It is an important industrial mineral. It is a layered silicate mineral, with one tetrahedral sheet of silica () linked through oxygen atoms to one octahedral sheet o ...
and one part
china stone China stone is a medium grained, feldspar-rich partially kaolinised granite characterized by the absence of iron-bearing minerals.Royal Crown Derby The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company is the oldest or second oldest remaining English porcelain manufacturer, based in Derby, England (disputed by Royal Worcester, who claim 1751 as their year of establishment). The company, particularly known ...
still uses 50% bone ash in the 21st century.


Materials

Kaolin Kaolinite () is a clay mineral, with the chemical composition Al2Si2O5(OH)4. It is an important industrial mineral. It is a layered silicate mineral, with one tetrahedral sheet of silica () linked through oxygen atoms to one octahedral sheet o ...
is the primary material from which porcelain is made, even though clay minerals might account for only a small proportion of the whole. The word ''paste'' is an old term for both the unfired and fired materials. A more common terminology for the unfired material is "body"; for example, when buying materials a potter might order an amount of porcelain body from a vendor. The composition of porcelain is highly variable, but the clay mineral
kaolinite Kaolinite () is a clay mineral, with the chemical composition Al2Si2O5(OH)4. It is an important industrial mineral. It is a layered silicate mineral, with one tetrahedral sheet of silica () linked through oxygen atoms to one octahedral sheet o ...
is often a raw material. Other raw materials can include
feldspar Feldspars () are a group of rock-forming tectosilicate minerals that make up about 41% of the Earth's continental crust by weight. Feldspars crystallize from magma as both intrusive and extrusive igneous rocks and are also present in many type ...
,
ball clayBall clays are kaolinitic sedimentary clays that commonly consist of 20–80% kaolinite, 10–25% mica, 6–65% quartz. Localized seams in the same deposit have variations in composition, including the quantity of the major minerals, accessory miner ...
, glass,
bone ash Bone ash is a white material produced by the calcination of bones. Typical bone ash consists of about 55.82% calcium oxide, 42.39% phosphorus pentoxide, and 1.79% water. The exact composition of these compounds varies depending upon the type of bone ...
,
steatite Soapstone (also known as steatite or soaprock) is a talc-schist, which is a type of metamorphic rock. It is composed largely of the magnesium rich mineral talc. It is produced by dynamothermal metamorphism and metasomatism, which occur in the zone ...
,
quartz Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silicon and oxygen atoms. The atoms are linked in a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon-oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall chemical formul ...
,
petuntsePetuntse (from 白墩子 in pinyin: bai2 dun1 zi0), also spelled petunse and ''bai dunzi'', ''baidunzi'', is a historic term for a wide range of micaceous or feldspathic rocks. However, all will have been subject to geological decomposition processes ...
and
alabaster Alabaster is a mineral or rock that is soft, often used for carving, and is processed for plaster powder. Archaeologists and the stone processing industry use the word differently from geologists. The former use it in a wider sense that includes ...

alabaster
. The clays used are often described as being long or short, depending on their
plasticity Plasticity may refer to: Science * Plasticity (physics), in engineering and physics, the propensity of a solid material to undergo permanent deformation under load * Neuroplasticity, in neuroscience, how entire brain structures, and the brain its ...
. Long clays are cohesive (sticky) and have high plasticity; short clays are less cohesive and have lower plasticity. In
soil mechanics Soil mechanics is a branch of soil physics and applied mechanics that describes the behavior of soils. It differs from fluid mechanics and solid mechanics in the sense that soils consist of a heterogeneous mixture of fluids (usually air and wate ...
, plasticity is determined by measuring the increase in content of water required to change a clay from a solid state bordering on the plastic, to a plastic state bordering on the liquid, though the term is also used less formally to describe the ease with which a clay may be worked. Clays used for porcelain are generally of lower plasticity and are shorter than many other pottery clays. They wet very quickly, meaning that small changes in the content of water can produce large changes in workability. Thus, the range of water content within which these clays can be worked is very narrow and consequently must be carefully controlled.


Production


Forming

Porcelain can be made using all the shaping techniques for pottery. It was originally typically made on the
potter's wheel , Germany In pottery, a potter's wheel is a machine used in the shaping (known as throwing) of round ceramic ware. The wheel may also be used during the process of trimming the excess body from dried ware, and for applying incised decoration or r ...
, though moulds were also used from early on.
Slipcasting Slipcasting or slip casting is a ceramic forming technique for pottery and other ceramics, especially for shapes not easily made on a wheel. In slipcasting, a liquid clay body slip (usually mixed in a blunger) is poured into plaster moulds and a ...
has been the most common commercial method in recent times.


Glazing

Biscuit porcelain upVienna porcelain figure of Joseph II of Austria, c. 1790">Joseph II of Austria">Vienna porcelain figure of Joseph II of Austria, c. 1790 Biscuit porcelain, bisque porcelain or bisque is unglazed, white porcelain treated as a final product, ...
is unglazed porcelain treated as a finished product, mostly for figures and sculpture. Unlike their lower-fired counterparts, porcelain wares do not need glazing to render them impermeable to liquids and for the most part are glazed for decorative purposes and to make them resistant to dirt and staining. Many types of glaze, such as the iron-containing glaze used on the celadon wares of
Longquan Longquan () is a county-level city and former county under the administration of the prefecture-level city of Lishui in southwestern Zhejiang Province, China, located on the upper reaches of the Ou River and bordering Fujian province to the southw ...
, were designed specifically for their striking effects on porcelain.


Decoration

Porcelain often receives
underglaze Dish with cypress, Turkey, Iznik, c. 1575, underglaze-painted stonepaste - Royal Ontario Museum - DSC04735 Underglaze is a method of decorating pottery in which painted decoration is applied to the surface before it is covered with a transparent ce ...
decoration using pigments that include
cobalt oxideCobalt oxide is a family of chemical compounds consisting of Cobalt and Oxygen atoms. Compounds in the Cobalt oxide family include: *Cobalt(II) oxide (cobaltous oxide), CoO *Cobalt(III) oxide (cobaltic oxide), Co2O3 *Cobalt(II,III) oxide, Co3O4 Se ...
and copper, or overglaze enamels, allowing a wider range of colours. Like many earlier wares, modern porcelains are often
biscuit A biscuit is a flour-based baked food product. In most countries, particularly in the Commonwealth and Ireland, biscuits are typically hard, flat and unleavened. They are usually sweet and may be made with sugar, chocolate, icing, jam, ginger or ...
-fired at around , coated with glaze and then sent for a second
glaze Glaze or glazing may refer to: * Glaze (metallurgy), a layer of compacted sintered oxide formed on some metals * Glaze (cooking technique), a coating of a glossy, often sweet, mixture applied to food * Glaze (ice), a layer of ice caused by freezin ...
-firing at a temperature of about or greater. Another early method is "once-fired", where the glaze is applied to the unfired body and the two fired together in a single operation.


Firing

In this process, "green" (unfired) ceramic wares are heated to high temperatures in a
kiln , Wrecclesham, Surrey with the preserved bottle kiln on the right of photo kiln under construction Image:CarKiln5951.JPG, 250px, An empty, intermittent kiln. This specific example is a "car kiln"; the base is on wheels and has been rolled out ...
to permanently set their shapes, vitrify the body and the glaze. Porcelain is fired at a higher temperature than earthenware so that the body can vitrify and become non-porous. Many types of porcelain in the past have been fired twice or even three times, to allow decoration using less robust pigments in overglaze enamel.


History


Chinese porcelain

Porcelain was invented in China over a centuries-long development period beginning with "proto-porcelain" wares dating from the
Shang dynasty The Shang dynasty (), also historically known as the Yin dynasty (), was a Chinese dynasty that ruled in the middle and lower Yellow River valley in the second millennium BC, succeeding the Xia dynasty and followed by the Zhou dynasty. T ...

Shang dynasty
(1600–1046 BC). By the time of the Eastern
Han dynasty The Han dynasty () was the second imperial dynasty of China (202 BC – 220 AD), established by the rebel leader Liu Bang and ruled by the House of Liu. Preceded by the short-lived Qin dynasty (221–206 BC) and a warring interregnum known a ...
(AD 25–220) these early glazed ceramic wares had developed into porcelain, which Chinese defined as high-fired ware. By the late
Sui dynasty The Sui dynasty (, ) was a short-lived imperial dynasty of China of pivotal significance. The Sui unified the Northern and Southern dynasties and reinstalled the rule of ethnic Han in the entirety of China proper, along with sinicization of for ...

Sui dynasty
(581–618 AD) and early
Tang dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum between 690 and 705. It was preceded by the Sui dynasty and followed by the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. His ...
(618–907 AD), the now-standard requirements of whiteness and translucency had been achieved, in types such as
Ding ware Dish (Pan) with Garden Landscape, described by LACMA as "molded stoneware with impressed decoration, transparent glaze, and banded metal rim", 13th century, diameter 5.5 in. (14 cm) Ding ware, Ting ware () or Dingyao are Chinese ceramics, mostly p ...
. The wares were already exported to the
Islamic world The terms Muslim world and Islamic world commonly refer to the ''Islamic community'', which is also known as the Ummah. This consists of all those who adhere to the religion of Islam, or to societies where Islam is practiced. In a modern geopo ...
, where they were highly prized. Eventually, porcelain and the expertise required to create it began to spread into other areas of East Asia. During the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song following his usurpation of the throne of the Later Zhou, ending the Five Dynasties and ...
(960–1279 AD), artistry and production had reached new heights. The manufacture of porcelain became highly organised, and the
dragon kiln A dragon kiln () or "climbing kiln", is a traditional Chinese form of kiln, used for Chinese ceramics, especially in southern China. It is long and thin, and relies on having a fairly steep slope, typically between 10° and 16°, up which the kiln ...
s excavated from this period could fire as many as 25,000 pieces at a time,Temple, Robert K.G. (2007). ''The Genius of China: 3,000 Years of Science, Discovery, and Invention'' (3rd edition). London: André Deutsch, pp. 104-5. and over 100,000 by the end of the period. While Xing ware is regarded as among the greatest of the Tang dynasty porcelain, Ding ware became the premier porcelain of the Song dynasty. By the
Ming dynasty#REDIRECT Ming dynasty {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
, production of the finest wares for the court was concentrated in a single city, and
Jingdezhen porcelain Jingdezhen porcelain () is Chinese porcelain produced in or near Jingdezhen in southern China. Jingdezhen may have produced pottery as early as the sixth century CE, though it is named after the reign name of Emperor Zhenzong, in whose reign it b ...
, originally owned by the imperial government, remains the centre of Chinese porcelain production. By the time of the
Ming dynasty#REDIRECT Ming dynasty {{Redirect category shell, 1= {{R from move {{R from other capitalisation ...
(1368–1644 AD), porcelain wares were being
exported An export in international trade is a good or service produced in one country that is sold into another country. The seller of such goods and services is an ''exporter''; the foreign buyer is an ''importer''. Exportation of goods often requires ...
to Asia and Europe. Some of the most well-known Chinese porcelain art styles arrived in Europe during this era, such as the coveted "
blue-and-white "Blue and white pottery" () covers a wide range of white pottery and porcelain decorated under the glaze with a blue pigment, generally cobalt oxide. The decoration is commonly applied by hand, originally by brush painting, but nowadays by stencil ...
" wares. The Ming dynasty controlled much of the porcelain trade, which was expanded to Asia, Africa and Europe via the
Silk Road The Silk Road was and is a network of trade routes connecting the East and West, and was central to the economic, cultural, political, and religious interactions between these regions from the 2nd century BCE to the 18th century. The Silk Road p ...
. In 1517, Portuguese merchants began direct trade by sea with the Ming dynasty, and in 1598, Dutch merchants followed. Some porcelains were more highly valued than others in imperial China. The most valued types can be identified by their association with the court, either as tribute offerings, or as products of kilns under imperial supervision.Rawson, Jessica "Chinese Art", 2007, publisher:the British Museum Press, London, Since the
Yuan dynasty#REDIRECT Yuan dynasty {{R from move ...
, the largest and best centre of production has made
Jingdezhen porcelain Jingdezhen porcelain () is Chinese porcelain produced in or near Jingdezhen in southern China. Jingdezhen may have produced pottery as early as the sixth century CE, though it is named after the reign name of Emperor Zhenzong, in whose reign it b ...
. During the Ming dynasty, Jingdezhen porcelain become a source of imperial pride. The
Yongle emperor The Yongle Emperor (pronounced , ; 2 May 1360 – 12 August 1424) — personal name Zhu Di (WG: Chu Ti) — was the third Emperor of the Ming dynasty, reigning from 1402 to 1424. Zhu Di was the fourth son of the Hongwu Emperor, the founder of ...

Yongle emperor
erected a white porcelain brick-faced pagoda at
Nanjing Nanjing ( ), formerly romanized as Nanking, is the capital of Jiangsu province of the People's Republic of China and the second largest city in the East China region. With 11 districts, Nanjing, which is located in southwestern Jiangsu, has an ...
, and an exceptionally smoothly glazed type of white porcelain is peculiar to his reign. Jingdezhen porcelain's fame came to a peak during the Qing dynasty.


Japanese porcelain

Nabeshima_ware_dish_with_hydrangeas,_c._1680–1720,_Arita,_Okawachi_kilns,_hard-paste_porcelain_with_cobalt_and_enamels.html" ;"title="hydrangea.html" ;"title="Nabeshima ware dish with hydrangea">Nabeshima ware dish with hydrangeas, c. 1680–1720, Arita, Okawachi kilns, hard-paste porcelain with cobalt and enamels">hydrangea.html" ;"title="Nabeshima ware dish with hydrangea">Nabeshima ware dish with hydrangeas, c. 1680–1720, Arita, Okawachi kilns, hard-paste porcelain with cobalt and enamels Although the Japanese elite were keen importers of Chinese porcelain from early on, they were not able to make their own until the arrival of Korean potters that were taken captive during the Japanese invasions of Korea (1592–1598). They brought an improved type of kiln, and one of them spotted a source of porcelain clay near Arita, Saga, Arita, and before long several kilns had started in the region. At first their wares were similar to the cheaper and cruder Chinese porcelains with underglaze blue decoration that were already widely sold in Japan; this style was to continue for cheaper everyday wares until the 20th century. Exports to Europe began around 1660, through the Chinese and the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie; VOC; id, Persatuan Perusahaan Hindia Timur), was a megacorporation founded by a government-directed consolidation of several rival ...
, the only Europeans allowed a trading presence. Chinese exports had been seriously disrupted by civil wars as the Ming dynasty fell apart, and the Japanese exports increased rapidly to fill the gap. At first the wares used European shapes and mostly Chinese decoration, as the Chinese had done, but gradually original Japanese styles developed. Nabeshima ware was produced in kilns owned by the families of feudal lords, and were decorated in the Japanese tradition, much of it related to textile design. This was not initially exported, but used for gifts to other aristocratic families.
Imari ware is a Western term for a brightly-coloured style of Japanese export porcelain made in the area of Arita, in the former Hizen Province, northwestern Kyūshū. They were exported to Europe in large quantities, especially between the second half of ...
and
Kakiemon ''Kakiemon'' square bottle with plums and stylized flowers in glaze and gilding. Edo period, 1670–1690 is a style of Japanese porcelain, with overglaze decoration called "enameled" ceramics. It was originally produced at the factories around Ar ...
are broad terms for styles of export porcelain with overglaze "enamelled" decoration begun in the early period, both with many sub-types. A great range of styles and manufacturing centres were in use by the start of the 19th century, and as Japan opened to trade in the second half, exports expanded hugely and quality generally declined. Much traditional porcelain continues to replicate older methods of production and styles, and there are several modern industrial manufacturers. By the early 1900s, Filipino porcelain artisans working in Japanese porcelain centres for much of their lives, later on introduced the craft into the native population in the Philippines, although oral literature from Cebu in the central Philippines have noted that porcelain were already being produced by the natives locally during the time of Cebu's early rulers, prior to the arrival of colonizers in the 16th century.


European porcelain

These exported Chinese porcelains were held in such great esteem in Europe that in English ''wikt:china, china'' became a commonly–used synonym for the Italian-derived ''porcelain''. The first mention of porcelain in Europe is in ''Il Milione'' by Marco Polo in the 13th century. Apart from copying Chinese porcelain in ''faience'' (Tin-glazed pottery, tin glazed
earthenware Earthenware is glazed or unglazed nonvitreous pottery that has normally been fired below . Basic earthenware, often called terracotta, absorbs liquids such as water. However, earthenware can be made impervious to liquids by coating it with a cer ...
), the soft-paste Medici porcelain in 16th-century Florence was the first real European attempt to reproduce it, with little success. Early in the 16th century, Portuguese traders returned home with samples of kaolin, which they discovered in China to be essential in the production of porcelain wares. However, the Chinese techniques and composition used to manufacture porcelain were not yet fully understood. Countless experiments to produce porcelain had unpredictable results and met with failure. In the German state of Saxony, the search concluded in 1708 when Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus produced a hard, white, translucent type of porcelain specimen with a combination of ingredients, including kaolin and
alabaster Alabaster is a mineral or rock that is soft, often used for carving, and is processed for plaster powder. Archaeologists and the stone processing industry use the word differently from geologists. The former use it in a wider sense that includes ...

alabaster
, mined from a Saxon mine in Colditz. It was a closely guarded trade secret of the Saxon enterprise. In 1712, many of the elaborate Chinese porcelain manufacturing secrets were revealed throughout Europe by the French
Jesuit The Society of Jesus (SJ; la, Societas Iesu) is a religious order of the Catholic Church headquartered in Rome. It was founded by Ignatius of Loyola and six companions with the approval of Pope Paul III in 1540. The members are called Jesuits ...
father Francois Xavier d'Entrecolles and soon published in the ''Lettres édifiantes et curieuses de Chine par des missionnaires jésuites''. The secrets, which d'Entrecolles read about and witnessed in China, were now known and began seeing use in Europe.Baghdiantz McAbe, Ina (2008). ''Orientalism in Early Modern France''. Oxford: Berg Publishing, p. 220.
Finley, Robert (2010). ''The pilgrim art. Cultures of porcelain in world history''. University of California Press, p. 18.
Kerr, R. & Wood, N. (2004).
Joseph Needham : Science and Civilisation in China, Volume 5 Chemistry and Chemical Technology : Part 12 Ceramic Technology
''. Cambridge University Press, p. 36-7.


Meissen

Von Tschirnhaus along with Johann Friedrich Böttger were employed by Augustus II the Strong, Augustus II, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony, who sponsored their work in Dresden and in the town of Meissen. Tschirnhaus had a wide knowledge of science and had been involved in the European quest to perfect porcelain manufacture when, in 1705, Böttger was appointed to assist him in this task. Böttger had originally been trained as a pharmacist; after he turned to alchemical research, he claimed to have known the secret of transmuting dross into gold, which attracted the attention of Augustus. Imprisoned by Augustus as an incentive to hasten his research, Böttger was obliged to work with other alchemists in the futile search for transmutation and was eventually assigned to assist Tschirnhaus. One of the first results of the collaboration between the two was the development of a red stoneware that resembled that of Yixing clay, Yixing. A workshop note records that the first specimen of hard, white and vitrified European porcelain was produced in 1708. At the time, the research was still being supervised by Tschirnhaus; however, he died in October of that year. It was left to Böttger to report to Augustus in March 1709 that he could make porcelain. For this reason, credit for the European discovery of porcelain is traditionally ascribed to him rather than Tschirnhaus. The Meissen factory was established in 1710 after the development of a kiln and a glaze suitable for use with Böttger's porcelain, which required firing at temperatures of up to to achieve translucence. Meissen porcelain was ''once-fired'', or ''green-fired''. It was noted for its great resistance to
thermal shock Thermal shock is a type of rapidly transient mechanical load. By definition, it is a mechanical load caused by a rapid change of temperature of a certain point. It can be also extended to the case of a thermal gradient, which makes different part ...
; a visitor to the factory in Böttger's time reported having seen a white-hot teapot being removed from the kiln and dropped into cold water without damage. Although widely disbelieved this has been replicated in modern times.


Soft paste porcelain

The pastes produced by combining clay and powdered glass (
frit A frit is a ceramic composition that has been fused, quenched, and granulated. Frits form an important part of the batches used in compounding enamels and ceramic glazes; the purpose of this pre-fusion is to render any soluble and/or toxic compone ...
) were called ''Frittenporzellan'' in Germany and ''frita'' in Spain. In France they were known as ''pâte tendre'' and in England as "soft-paste". They appear to have been given this name because they do not easily retain their shape in the wet state, or because they tend to slump in the kiln under high temperature, or because the body and the glaze can be easily scratched. ;France Experiments at Rouen produced the earliest soft-paste in France, but the first important French soft-paste porcelain was made at the Saint-Cloud factory before 1702. Soft-paste factories were established with the Chantilly porcelain, Chantilly manufactory in 1730 and at Mennecy in 1750. The Vincennes porcelain factory was established in 1740, moving to larger premises at Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, Sèvres in 1756. Vincennes soft-paste was whiter and freer of imperfections than any of its French rivals, which put Vincennes/Sèvres porcelain in the leading position in France and throughout the whole of Europe in the second half of the 18th century. ;Italy Doccia porcelain of Florence was founded in 1735 and remains in production, unlike Capodimonte porcelain which was moved from Naples to Madrid by Charles III of Spain, its royal owner, after producing from 1743 to 1759. After a gap of 15 years Naples porcelain was produced from 1771 to 1806, specializing in Neoclassicism, Neoclassical styles. All these were very successful, with large outputs of high-quality wares. In and around Venice, Francesco Vezzi was producing hard-paste from around 1720 to 1735; survivals of Vezzi porcelain are very rare, but less so than from the Hewelke factory, which only lasted from 1758 to 1763. The soft-paste Cozzi porcelain, Cozzi factory fared better, lasting from 1764 to 1812. The Le Nove porcelain, Le Nove factory produced from about 1752 to 1773, then was revived from 1781 to 1802. ; England The first soft-paste in England was demonstrated by Thomas Briand to the Royal Society in 1742 and is believed to have been based on the Saint-Cloud formula. In 1749, Thomas Frye took out a patent on a porcelain containing bone ash. This was the first
bone china Bone china is a type of porcelain that is composed of bone ash, feldspathic material, and kaolin. It has been defined as "ware with a translucent body" containing a minimum of 30% of phosphate derived from animal bone and calculated calcium phospha ...
, subsequently perfected by Josiah Spode. William Cookworthy discovered deposits of kaolin in Cornwall, and his Plymouth Porcelain, factory at Plymouth, established in 1768, used kaolin and
china stone China stone is a medium grained, feldspar-rich partially kaolinised granite characterized by the absence of iron-bearing minerals. * St James's (1748) * Bristol porcelain (1748) * Longton Hall (1750) *
Royal Crown Derby The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company is the oldest or second oldest remaining English porcelain manufacturer, based in Derby, England (disputed by Royal Worcester, who claim 1751 as their year of establishment). The company, particularly known ...
(1750 or 1757) * Royal Worcester (1751) * Lowestoft porcelain (1757) * Wedgwood (1759) * Spode (1767)


Russian porcelain

In 1744, the Elizabeth of Russia signed an agreement to establish the first porcelain manufactory; previously it had to be imported. The technology of making "white gold" was carefully hidden by its creators. Peter the Great had tried to reveal the "big porcelain secret", and sent an agent to the Meissen factory, and finally hired a porcelain master from abroad. This relied on the research of the Russian scientist Dmitry Ivanovich Vinogradov. His development of porcelain manufacturing technology was not based on secrets learned through third parties, but was the result of painstaking work and careful analysis. Thanks to this, by 1760, Imperial Porcelain Factory, Saint Petersburg became a major European factorys producing tableware, and later porcelain figurines. Eventually other factories opened: Gardner porcelain, Dulyovo porcelain works, Dulyovo (1832), Kuznetsovsky porcelain, Popovsky porcelain, and Gzhel.


Other uses


Electric insulating material

Porcelain and other ceramic materials have many applications in engineering, especially ceramic engineering. Porcelain is an excellent insulator for use with high voltages, especially in outdoor applications (see Insulator (electricity)#Material). Examples include: terminals for high-voltage cables, bushings of power transformers, and insulation of high-frequency Antenna (radio), antennas.


Building material

Porcelain can be used as a building material, usually in the form of tiles or large rectangular panels. Modern porcelain tiles are generally produced by a number of recognised international standards and definitions. Manufacturers are found across the world with Italy being the global leader, producing over 380 million square metres in 2006. Historic examples of rooms decorated entirely in porcelain tiles can be found in several European palaces including ones at Galleria Sabauda in Turin, Museo di Doccia in Sesto Fiorentino, Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, the Royal Palace of Madrid and the nearby Royal Palace of Aranjuez. and the Porcelain Tower of Nanjing. More recent noteworthy examples include the Dakin Building in Brisbane, California, and the Gulf Building (Houston), Gulf Building in Houston, Texas, which when constructed in 1929 had a porcelain logo on its exterior.“Porcelain Tile: The Revolution Is Only Beginning.” Tile Decorative Surf. 42, No.11, 1992. A more detailed description of the history, manufacture and properties of porcelain tiles is given in the article “Porcelain Tile: The Revolution Is Only Beginning.”


Bathroom fittings

Because of its durability, inability to rust and impermeability, glazed porcelain has been in use for personal hygiene since at least the third quarter of the 17th century. During this period, porcelain chamber pots were commonly found in higher-class European households, and the term "bourdaloue" was used as the name for the pot. However bath tubs are not made of porcelain, but of Industrial porcelain enamel, porcelain enamel on a metal base, usually of cast iron. Porcelain enamel is a marketing term used in the US, and is not porcelain but vitreous enamel.


Dental porcelain

Dental porcelain is used for crowns, bridges and veneers.


Manufacturers

* The Americas ** Brazil *** Germer Porcelanas Finas *** :pt:Porcelana Schmidt ** United States *** Blue Ridge (dishware), Blue Ridge *** CoorsTek, Inc. *** Franciscan Ceramics, Franciscan *** Lenox (company), Lenox *** Lotus Ware *** Pickard China * Asia ** China ***
Ding ware Dish (Pan) with Garden Landscape, described by LACMA as "molded stoneware with impressed decoration, transparent glaze, and banded metal rim", 13th century, diameter 5.5 in. (14 cm) Ding ware, Ting ware () or Dingyao are Chinese ceramics, mostly p ...
***
Jingdezhen porcelain Jingdezhen porcelain () is Chinese porcelain produced in or near Jingdezhen in southern China. Jingdezhen may have produced pottery as early as the sixth century CE, though it is named after the reign name of Emperor Zhenzong, in whose reign it b ...
** Iran *** Maghsoud Group of Factories, (1993–present) *** Zarin Iran porcelain Industries, (1881–present) ** Japan *** Hirado ware ***
Kakiemon ''Kakiemon'' square bottle with plums and stylized flowers in glaze and gilding. Edo period, 1670–1690 is a style of Japanese porcelain, with overglaze decoration called "enameled" ceramics. It was originally produced at the factories around Ar ...
*** Nabeshima ware *** Narumi *** Noritake ** Malaysia *** Royal Selangor ** South Korea *** Haengnam Chinaware *** Hankook Chinaware ** Sri Lanka *** Dankotuwa Porcelain *** Noritake Lanka Porcelain *** Royal Fernwood Porcelain ** Taiwan *** Franz-porcelains, Franz Collection ** Turkey *** Yildiz Porselen (1890–1936, 1994–present) *** Kütahya Porselen (1970–present) *** Güral Porselen (1989–present) *** Porland Porselen (1976–present) *** Istanbul Porselen (1963 – early 1990s) *** Sümerbank Porselen (1957–1994) ** United Arab Emirates *** RAK Porcelain ** Vietnam *** Minh Long I porcelain (1970–present) *** Bát Tràng porcelain (1352–present) * Porcelain manufacturing companies in Europe, Europe ** Austria *** Vienna Porcelain Manufactory, 1718–1864 *** Vienna Porcelain Manufactory Augarten, 1923–present ** Croatia *** Inkerpor (1953–present) ** Czech Republic *** Haas & Czjzek, Horní Slavkov (1792–2011) *** Thun 1794, Klášterec nad Ohří (1794–present) *** Český porcelán a.s., Dubí, Eichwelder Porzellan und Ofenfabriken Bloch & Co. Böhmen (1864–present) *** Rudolf Kämpf, Nové Sedlo (Sokolov District) (1907–present) ** Denmark *** Aluminia *** Bing & Grøndahl *** Denmark porcelain *** P. Ipsens Enke *** Kastrup Vaerk *** Kronjyden *** Porcelænshaven *** Royal Copenhagen (1775–present) *** GreenGate ** Finland *** Arabia (brand), Arabia ** France ***Saint-Cloud porcelain (1693–1766) ***Chantilly porcelain (1730–1800) ***Vincennes porcelain (1740–1756) ***Mennecy-Villeroy porcelain (1745–1765) ***Manufacture nationale de Sèvres, Sèvres porcelain (1756–present) ***Revol Porcelaine, Revol porcelain (1789–present) ***Limoges porcelain ***Haviland & Co., Haviland porcelain ** Germany *** Porcelain manufacturing companies in Europe#Current porcelain manufacturers in Germany, Current porcelain manufacturers in Germany ** Hungary *** Hollóháza Porcelain Manufactory (1777–present) *** Herend Porcelain Manufactory, Herend Porcelain Manufacture (1826–present) *** Zsolnay Porcelain Manufacture (1853–present) ** Italy *** Doccia porcelain, Richard-Ginori 1735 Manifattura di Doccia (1735–present) *** Capodimonte porcelain (1743–1759) *** Naples porcelain (1771–1806) *** Manifattura Italiana Porcellane Artistiche Fabris (1922–1972) *** Mangani SRL, Porcellane d'Arte (Florence) ** Lithuania *** Jiesia ** Netherlands *** Haagsche Plateelbakkerij, Rozenburg *** Joannes de Mol, Loosdrechts Porselein *** Bertrand Philip, Count of Gronsveld, Weesp Porselein ** Norway *** Egersund porcelain *** Figgjo (company), Figgjo (1941–present) *** Herrebøe porcelain *** Porsgrund *** Stavangerflint ** Poland *** AS Ćmielów *** Fabryka Fajansu i Porcelany *** Polskie Fabryki Porcelany “Ćmielów” i "Chodzież" S.A. *** Kristoff Porcelana *** Lubiana S.A. ** Portugal *** Vista Alegre (company), Vista Alegre *** Spal (company), Sociedade Porcelanas de Alcobaça *** Costa Verde (company), located in the district of Aveiro ** Russia *** Imperial Porcelain Factory, Saint Petersburg (1744–present) *** Verbilki Porcelain (1766–present), Verbilki near Taldom *** Gzhel (ceramics), Gzhel ceramics (1802–present), Gzhel, Moscow Oblast, Gzhel *** Dulevo Farfor (1832–present), Likino-Dulyovo ** Spain *** Real Fábrica del Buen Retiro, Buen Retiro Royal Porcelain Factory (1760–1812) *** Real Fábrica de Sargadelos (1808–present, intermittently) *** Porvasal ** Switzerland *** Suisse Langenthal ** Sweden *** Rörstrand *** Gustavsberg porcelain ** United Kingdom *** Aynsley China (1775–present) *** Belleek Pottery, Belleek (1884–present) *** Bow porcelain factory (1747–1776) *** Caughley porcelain *** Chelsea porcelain factory (c. 1745; merged with Derby in 1770) *** Coalport porcelain *** Davenport Pottery, Davenport *** Goss crested china *** Liverpool porcelain *** Longton Hall porcelain *** Lowestoft Porcelain Factory *** Mintons Ltd (1793–1968; merged with Royal Doulton) *** Nantgarw Pottery *** New Hall porcelain *** Plymouth Porcelain *** Rockingham Pottery ***
Royal Crown Derby The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company is the oldest or second oldest remaining English porcelain manufacturer, based in Derby, England (disputed by Royal Worcester, who claim 1751 as their year of establishment). The company, particularly known ...
(1750/57–present) *** Royal Doulton (1815–2009; acquired by Fiskars) *** Royal Worcester (1751–2008; acquired by Portmeirion Pottery) *** Spode (1767–2008; acquired by Portmeirion Pottery) *** Saint James's Factory (or "Girl-in-a-Swing", 1750s) *** Swansea porcelain *** Vauxhall porcelain *** Wedgwood, (factory 1759–present, porcelain 1812–1829, and modern. Acquired by Fiskars)


See also

* Blue and white porcelain * List of porcelain manufacturers * Lithophane * Sea pottery


Notes


References

* David Battie, Battie, David, ed., ''Sotheby's Concise Encyclopedia of Porcelain'', 1990, Conran Octopus. * Le Corbellier, Clare
''Eighteenth-century Italian porcelain''
1985, Metropolitan Museum of Art, (fully available online as PDF) * Smith, Lawrence, Harris, Victor and Clark, Timothy, ''Japanese Art: Masterpieces in the British Museum'', 1990, British Museum Publications, * Vainker, S.J., ''Chinese Pottery and Porcelain'', 1991, British Museum Press, 9780714114705 * William Watson (sinologist), Watson, William ed., ''The Great Japan Exhibition: Art of the Edo Period 1600–1868'', 1981, Royal Academy of Arts/Weidenfeld & Nicolson


Further reading

* Burton, William (1906)
''Porcelain, Its Nature, Art and Manufacture''
London: Batsford. * ''Combined Nomenclature of the European Communities'' – EC Commission in Luxembourg, 1987. * * * Valenstein, S. (1998).
A Handbook of Chinese ceramics
', Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. .


External links







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