Porcelain jest the most beautiful, most noble kind of ceramics, invented by the Chinese.
That was there that the first collectors appeared (10th century), and the oldest collections are over 800 years old. The first reports about porcelain were brought to Europe by Marco Polo (1298). Two hundred years later, Vasco da Gama beside silk and spices, brought also porcelain. Interest in porcelain became the reason for great efforts made in order to produce porcelain mass in Europe. Only in 1709 the hard kaolin porcelain was invented in Dresden by Johann Friedrich Böttger. King August II the Strong in 1710 moved the factory from Dresden to Meissen. Depending on the composition and technology of the European porcelain mass production, we can divide the European porcelain of the 18th century into hard-paste and soft-paste porcelain. In England, a special type of porcelain was invented with an admixture of bone ash, and that is where the name “Bone China” comes from.
Only in the second half of the 20th century, the imitation of ancient designs was abandoned. New patterns, designs and styles were searched for. Today, porcelain is available to a wide variety of people. New, less time-consuming techniques of producing porcelain emerged, as well as new technologies of decorating. In spite of the newest technologies of decorating (e.g. laser techniques), the hand-painted porcelain continues to be the most precious.
The production of porcelain goods takes place in accordance to a worked-out technological process in few, tightly connected stages:
- Preparing the ceramic masses and glaze.
- Forming goods through:
- forming goods of modelling paste,
- forming goods of casting slip, with:
- traditional method in gypsum moulds,
- die-casting method.
- isostatic forming goods of granulated mass.
- Drying and finishing moulded goods.
- Initial firing to so called “biscuit” in temp. 960oC.
- Glazing the half-products.
- Secondary “sharp” firing in temp. 1380oC.
- Grinding, polishing, sorting, completing in sets.
- Decorating the goods.
- Firing the decorated goods.
- Completing, packing, passing to the Warehouse of Ready Products.
The basic raw materials for porcelain production are: kaolins, quartzes and feldspars. Moulded and dried half-products are fired for the first time into so called “biscuit” in temperature of 960oC, and then, after putting on the porcelain glaze, “sharp” in temperature 1380oC. The auxiliary materials in the firing process are refractory silicon carbide materials, such as: plates and other shapes.
Fired goods are subjected to the following operations: grinding, polishing, sorting into classes, completing in the sets, and next passed for decorating. Ready products are decorated with ceramic paints, precious metal paints, and ceramic calque. Decorated goods are fired in temperature 800oC (onglaze decoration) or in temperature 1250oC (inglaze decoration).
Masses and glazes for production of our porcelain goods are made of basic raw materials in 80% form import. The masses and glazes contain traces of colouring compounds, that is why obtaining great whiteness above 70% and transparency above 21% is not an act of coincidence. The goods are resistant to high temperatures, show high resistance to abrasion and acids. The use of the highest quality paints enables the production of the high-end decorations on the goods.