Porcelain tableware is the home of the house, which is said to be "a house - a full bowl." A porcelain tea set turns an ordinary breakfast into a ceremonial. In fragile cups and saucers, the taste of food and drink changes, and tea dishes on the table in full assortment: cups, saucers, teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug deliver the aesthetic pleasure to the owner and raise his self-esteem.
What is porcelain and what happens?
Porcelain dishes are distinguished by whiteness, strength, at the same time lightness and transparency. Porcelain is made from baked clay, kaolin and spar. Depending on the composition and method of processing clay, the following types of porcelain are distinguished:
- hard (spaty).
Classification is carried out depending on the amount of kaolin: the higher the concentration, the better the porcelain.
In the world of porcelain, reputation and trademark solve almost everything. After all, they guarantee compliance with environmental and hygienic safety standards. Having bought branded products, a person is sure that he will not recover by consuming food from a brightly painted plate. Like a century ago, today it is German (especially Meissen statuettes), Russian, Chinese, French and English porcelain.
Such tableware and tea utensils are offered by well-known trademarks in the field of porcelain products:
- Augarten is a Viennese manufactory that has been producing premium-class goods in strictly limited editions for three centuries. 100% hand-made, produced on a specific occasion. These are family services on special order with monograms or emblems, collectible coffee cups or a set of "plates of the year" of 365 pieces.
- "Imperial Porcelain" - the first Russian porcelain factory; retained production in full. The legend company, the supplier of the royal court, which produced sets of up to a thousand items.
- Meissen is the oldest European brand. For almost three hundred year history, two identical products have not been released. All the dishes and unique figurines are painted by hand, no solid auction can do without them.
- Noritake - Japanese luxury classic outlines. It is translucent in the light, decorated with gold and platinum. Especially prized organic bone china with an olive sheen, the recipe for which is the company's trade secret. The services are made in limited series, after which the blanks are broken, immediately turning the dishes into an exclusive. Eastern refinement is complemented by practicality: porcelain can be washed in a dishwasher.
- Royal Albert - has been producing bone white English porcelain for over a hundred years. It is not only beautiful, but also durable. Supplier of the Royal Court of Great Britain.
- Villeroy & Boch - produces bone dishes with the decor of classic forms in the white and blue tones. Adherents of asymmetry will admire ethnic collections. All cookware is heat-resistant, does not respond to a microwave or dishwasher.
Marking in the form of a trademark is located on the bottom of the product from the outside.
Where is china used?
Porcelain is traditionally and widely used as a material for the manufacture of services and individual items for eating.
Kitchenware from porcelain is considered the most elite in this segment. It is much more prestigious glass, earthenware or any other. This is a symbol of wealth, timeless or fashionable trends, a must-have element of the festive table setting.
There are different types of china: table, coffee and tea appointments; exclusive for festive occasions or everyday use.
Expensive tea or dinner sets made of solid porcelain, valued for perfect whiteness, strength and heat resistance - an attribute of luxury restaurants, private meals of high-status persons or rich people. In ordinary homes, if there is, for example, real English porcelain, then they take it out of the cupboard on holidays. Every day the demand for dishes easier: cups, plates, saucers in the budget version. But they are still more prestigious than heavier and opaque earthenware.
One of the freshest fashion trends from rich people is porcelain in the style of the interior.
The second use of porcelain is figurines, figurines and other small plastic used for interior decoration. Along with the traditional fashionable hobby began to make figurines or flowers from cold porcelain.
The composition is called so because it is prepared at room temperature or at low heat. For the work needed water, baking soda, starch, vegetable oil. The mixture is heated. Without any heat treatment, a composition of starch, petroleum jelly, soda and PVA glue is used. There are similar mixtures with the addition of dyes. But in any case, personally made cold porcelain crafts are exclusive and can be a matter of pride or the beginning of a business.
Ware from porcelain can have a relief or smooth, monochrome or multi-colored decor.
The relief is applied on plates or walls of cups by engraving or perforation. It is cast in a special form along with the dishes, however, some elements are made separately, and then pasted.
Smooth decor is performed under the glaze or above it. Underglaze processing has, for example, Chinese dishes: blue painting on a white background. The drawing is applied to the blank, which, together with the glaze, is then fed to the firing. Overglaze method means painting porcelain tableware with colored enamel. Limits the use of this technique scant palette.
Always at the peak of popularity of the classic: white porcelain without any decorations. They are not needed by the highest grades of porcelain - the “rock” is clearly visible. Variety is only in the design of forms, but it is elegantly restrained.
For fans of all the bright, sets with original colorful surface decoration are produced.
Experts do not advise buying sets or individual items of lesser-known manufacturers, brightly decorated in conjunction with mother of pearl - there may be cadmium or lead.
Care of porcelain products
The main characteristic of porcelain tableware is strength and durability with careful care. The vulnerable side is the darkening and loss of the original perfect appearance in the process of use, but this is not critical if you know how to clean it properly. The original shine and whiteness can be returned in several ways:
- wiping the dishes with a soft sponge dipped in turpentine;
- traces of coffee, tea or other drinks are wiped with a strong solution of soda or salt;
- other stains are removed with a warm, weak solution of ammonia;
- do not leave china in water for a long time;
- dishes with a pattern washed with not too hot water;
- beautiful dishes do not like household chemicals, especially abrasive powders that can scratch the surface;
- wash better created specifically for porcelain means or non-aggressive inactive, for example, soap;
- it is better if the china is washed by hand, cleaned separately from other appliances, with a soft sponge;
- at the time of washing you need to remove the rings, rings, so as not to scratch it;
- dishes with metal decor under no circumstances put in a microwave or dishwasher;
- the washed dishes are wiped with a soft cloth and immediately set to dry.
Rarely used porcelain plates are shifted with white paper or napkins, and the cups are not slid so that the handles do not get out.
Appearance largely determines the quality of china. Visual Criteria:
- Aesthetic appeal: it’s nice to look at the service set, sugar bowl or plate.
- This porcelain is not decorated with lush decor, the picture is only partially present.
- In the light, the best quality material is transparent, with hints of milk, cream or fresh snow. You can determine the real shade of the product by looking at its bottom.
- In the normal or inverted position, the cups or plates are stable, do not stagger, do not bend.
- The glaze should be without cracks, impregnations, scratches.
- At the bottom there is always an unpainted bezel, allowing to evaluate the original color of porcelain.
- Check on hearing. Quality porcelain, if you gently knock on it, makes a slight melodic ringing.
- Tactile test. Porcelain, even impressive in appearance, is actually light. High-quality dishes are distinguished by a pleasant smoothness, rounded edges or details of the decor, the absence of gaps, chips, porous impregnations, roughness, bubbles.
Authentic English porcelain, for example, is recognized by its smooth outlines, subtlety, delicate artistic work, the prevalence of floral motifs.
This porcelain is sold only in large specialized stores or authorized dealers with the necessary documentation.
A very profitable investment can be old porcelain tableware - its price never drops, but only grows.
Porcelain antique cup or plate requires care, but decorate the interior of any style. They are loved by collectors and figurines, especially from Meissen. The price of well-preserved copies of world brands reaches thousands of dollars at auctions. A cherished subject of hunting by connoisseurs is rarities of the Imperial Porcelain Factory, once made for the royal family of Russia.
If you do not know what to give to a person, feel free to buy a cup and saucer for tea. This porcelain tea pair is sometimes complemented with a spoon and a glass of water. The gift is appropriate in almost any case - everyone loves to pochaevnichat.