Porcelain (/ˈpɔːrsəlɪn/) is a ceramic material made by heating materials, generally including kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C (2,200 and 2,600 °F). The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of pottery, arises mainly from vitrification and the formation of the mineral mullite 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. 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 and stoneware, 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 figurines. It also has many uses in technology and industry.
The European name, porcelain in English, comes from the old Italian porcellana (cowrie shell) 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 associated with porcelain include low permeability and elasticity; considerable strength, hardness, toughness, whiteness, translucency and resonance; and a high resistance to chemical attack and thermal shock.
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, 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.
Hard-paste porcelain came from East Asia, specifically China, and some of the finest quality porcelain wares are from this category. The earliest European porcelains were produced at the Meissen factory in the early 18th century; they were formed from a paste composed of kaolin and alabaster and fired at temperatures up to 1,400 °C (2,552 °F) 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 and quartz, allowing the pieces to be fired at lower temperatures. Kaolinite, feldspar and quartz (or other forms of silica) continue to constitute the basic ingredients for most continental European hard-paste porcelains.
Soft-paste porcelains date back from the early attempts by European potters to replicate Chinese porcelain by using mixtures of clay and frit. 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 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, feldspars, nepheline syenite 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.
Although originally developed in England in 1748 in order to compete with imported porcelain, bone china is now made worldwide. The English had read the letters of Jesuit missionary François Xavier d'Entrecolles, 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.
Kaolin 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 is often a raw material. Other raw materials can include feldspar, ball clay, glass, bone ash, steatite, quartz, petuntse and alabaster.
The clays used are often described as being long or short, depending on their plasticity. Long clays are cohesive (sticky) and have high plasticity; short clays are less cohesive and have lower plasticity. In soil mechanics, 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.
Porcelain can be made using all the shaping techniques for pottery. It was originally typically made on the potter's wheel, though moulds were also used from early on. Slipcasting has been the most common commercial method in recent times.
Biscuit porcelain 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, were designed specifically for their striking effects on porcelain.
Porcelain often receives underglaze decoration using pigments that include cobalt oxide and copper, or overglaze enamels, allowing a wider range of colours. Like many earlier wares, modern porcelains are often biscuit-fired at around 1,000 °C (1,830 °F), coated with glaze and then sent for a second glaze-firing at a temperature of about 1,300 °C (2,370 °F) 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.
In this process, "green" (unfired) ceramic wares are heated to high temperatures in a kiln 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.
Porcelain originated in China, and it took a long time to reach the modern material. Until recent times, almost all East Asian porcelain was of the hard-paste type. There is no precise date to separate the production of proto-porcelain from that of porcelain. Although proto-porcelain wares exist dating from the Shang dynasty (1600–1046 BC), by the time of the Eastern Han dynasty period (206 BC–220 AD), glazed ceramic wares had developed into porcelain, which Chinese defined as high-fired ware. By the late Sui dynasty (581–618 AD) and early Tang dynasty (618–907 AD) the additional Western requirements of whiteness and translucency had been achieved, in types such as Ding ware. The wares were already exported to the Islamic world, 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 (960–1279 AD), artistry and production had reached new heights. The manufacture of porcelain became highly organised, and the dragon kilns excavated from this period could fire as many as 25,000 pieces at a time, 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 time of the Ming dynasty (1368–1644 AD), porcelain wares were being exported to Europe. Some of the most well-known Chinese porcelain art styles arrived in Europe during this era, such as the coveted "blue-and-white" wares. The Ming dynasty controlled much of the porcelain trade, which was expanded to Asia, Africa and Europe via the Silk Road. 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. Since the Yuan dynasty, the largest and best centre of production has made Jingdezhen porcelain. During the Ming dynasty, Jingdezhen porcelain become a source of imperial pride. The Yongle emperor erected a white porcelain brick-faced pagoda at Nanjing, 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.
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, 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 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 and Kakiemon 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.
These exported Chinese porcelains were held in such great esteem in Europe that in English china became a commonly–used synonym for the Italian term porcelain. The first mention of porcelain in Europe is in Il Milione by Marco Polo in XII sec. Apart from copying Chinese porcelain in faience (tin glazed earthenware), 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, 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 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.
Von Tschirnhaus and Johann Friedrich Böttger were employed by Augustus II the Strong and worked at Dresden and Meissen in the German state of Saxony. 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.
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 1,400 °C (2,552 °F) to achieve translucence. Meissen porcelain was once-fired, or green-fired. It was noted for its great resistance to thermal shock; 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.
The pastes produced by combining clay and powdered glass (frit) 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.
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 manufactory in 1730 and at Mennecy in 1750. The Vincennes porcelain factory was established in 1740, moving to larger premises at 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.
Doccia porcelain of Florence was founded in 1735 and remains in production, unlike Capodimonte porcelain which was moved from Naples to Madrid by its royal owner, after producing from 1743-1759. After a gap of 15 years Naples porcelain was produced from 1771 to 1806, specializing in Neoclassical styles. All these were very successful, with large outputs of high-quality wares. In and around Venice, Francesco Vezzi was producing from around 1720 to 1735; survivals are very rare, but less so than from the Hewelke factory, which only lasted from 1758 to 1763. The Cozzi factory fared better, lasting from 1764 to 1812. The Le Nove factory produced from about 1752 to 1773, then was revived from 1781 to 1802.
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, subsequently perfected by Josiah Spode.
In the twenty-five years after Briand's demonstration, a number of factories were founded in England to make soft-paste tableware and figures:
William Cookworthy discovered deposits of kaolin in Cornwall, making a considerable contribution to the development of porcelain and other whiteware ceramics in the United Kingdom. Cookworthy's factory at Plymouth, established in 1768, used kaolin and china stone to make porcelain with a body composition similar to that of the Chinese porcelains of the early 18th century.
Porcelain and other ceramic materials have many applications in engineering, especially ceramic engineering. Porcelain is an excellent insulator for use at high voltage, especially in outdoor applications, see Insulator (electricity)#Material. Examples include: terminals for high-voltage cables, bushings of power transformers, insulation of high frequency antennas and many other components.
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 in Houston, Texas, which when constructed in 1929 had a 21-metre-long (69 ft) porcelain logo on its exterior. 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.”
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 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.
Allach porcelain (pronounced 'alak') a.k.a. Porzellan Manufaktur Allach was produced in Germany between 1935 and 1945. After its first year of operation, the enterprise was run by the SS with forced labor provided by the Dachau concentration camp. The emphasis was on decorative ceramics —objects d'art for the Nazi regime. The company logo included stylized SS runes. Sometimes in place of the company name, the pottery markings mentioned the SS: "DES - WIRTSCHAFTS - VERWALTUNGSHAUPTAMTES".Blue and white pottery
"Blue and white pottery" (Chinese: 青花; pinyin: qīng-huā; literally: 'Blue flowers/patterns') 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 stencilling or by transfer-printing, though other methods of application have also been used. The cobalt pigment is one of the very few that can withstand the highest firing temperatures that are required, in particular for porcelain, which partly accounts for its long-lasting popularity. Historically, many other colours required overglaze decoration and then a second firing at a lower temperature to fix that.
The origin of this decorative style is thought to lie in Iraq, when craftsmen in Basra sought to imitate imported white Chinese stoneware with their own tin-glazed, white pottery and added decorative motifs in blue glazes that had been developed by preexisting Mesopotamian cultures. Such Abbasid-era "blue and white" pieces have been found in present-day Iraq dating to the 9th century A.D., decades after the opening of a direct sea route from Iraq to China.Later, in China, a style of decoration based on sinuous plant forms spreading across the object was perfected and most commonly used. Blue and white decoration first became widely used in Chinese porcelain in the 14th century, after the cobalt pigment for the blue began to be imported from Persia. It was widely exported, and inspired imitative wares in Islamic ceramics, and in Japan, and later European tin-glazed earthenware such as Delftware and after the techniques were discovered in the 18th century, European porcelain. Blue and white pottery in all of these traditions continues to be produced, most of it copying earlier styles.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 phosphate. Bone china is the strongest of the porcelain or china ceramics, having very high mechanical and physical strength and chip resistance, and is known for its high levels of whiteness and translucency. Its high strength allows it to be produced in thinner cross-sections than other types of porcelain. Like stoneware it is vitrified, but is translucent due to differing mineral properties.In the mid-18th century, English potters had not succeeded in making hard-paste porcelain (as made in East Asia and Meissen porcelain) but found bone ash a useful addition to their soft-paste porcelain mixtures, giving strength. This became standard at the Bow porcelain factory in London (operating from around 1747), and spread to some other English factories. The modern product was developed by the Staffordshire potter Josiah Spode in the early 1790s. Spode included kaolin, so his formula, sometimes called "Staffordshire bone-porcelain", was effectively hard-paste, but stronger, and versions were adopted by all the major English factories by around 1815.From its initial development and up to the latter part of the 20th century, bone china was almost exclusively an English product, with production being effectively localised in Stoke-on-Trent. Most major English firms made or still make it, including Fortnum & Mason, Mintons, Coalport, Spode, Royal Crown Derby, Royal Doulton, Wedgwood and Worcester.
In the UK, references to "china" or "porcelain" can refer to bone china, and "English porcelain" has been used as a term for it, both in the UK and around the world.Celadon
Celadon is a term for pottery denoting both wares glazed in the jade green celadon color, also known as greenware (the term specialists now tend to use) and a type of transparent glaze, often with small cracks, that was first used on greenware, but later used on other porcelains. Celadon originated in China, though the term is purely European, and notable kilns such as the Longquan kiln in Zhejiang province are renowned for their celadon glazes. Celadon production later spread to other parts of East Asia, such as Japan and Korea as well as Southeast Asian countries such as Thailand. Eventually, European potteries produced some pieces, but it was never a major element there. Finer pieces are in porcelain, but both the color and the glaze can be produced in stoneware and earthenware. Most of the earlier Longquan celadon is on the border of stoneware and porcelain, meeting the Chinese but not the European definitions of porcelain.
For many centuries, celadon wares were highly regarded by the Chinese Imperial court, before being replaced in fashion by painted wares, especially the new blue and white porcelain under the Yuan dynasty. The similarity of the color to jade, traditionally the most highly valued material in China, was a large part of its attraction. Celadon continued to be produced in China at a lower level, often with a conscious sense of reviving older styles. In Korea the celadons produced under the Goryeo Dynasty (918–1392) are regarded as the classic wares of Korean porcelain.
The celadon colour is classically produced by firing a glaze containing a little iron oxide at a high temperature in a reducing kiln. The materials must be refined, as other chemicals can alter the color completely. Too little iron oxide causes a blue colour (sometimes a desired effect), and too much gives olive and finally black; the right amount is between 0.75% and 2.5%. The presence of other chemicals may have effects; titanium dioxide gives a yellowish tinge. Pieces made with a celadon glaze are themselves often referred to as "celadons."Ceramic art
Ceramic art is art made from ceramic materials, including clay. It may take forms including artistic pottery, including tableware, tiles, figurines and other sculpture. Ceramic art is one of the arts, particularly the visual arts. Of these, it is one of the plastic arts. While some ceramics are considered fine art, as pottery or sculpture, some are considered to be decorative, industrial or applied art objects. Ceramics may also be considered artefacts in archaeology. Ceramic art can be made by one person or by a group of people. In a pottery or ceramic factory, a group of people design, manufacture and decorate the art ware. Products from a pottery are sometimes referred to as "art pottery". In a one-person pottery studio, ceramists or potters produce studio pottery.
The word "ceramics" comes from the Greek keramikos (κεραμικος), meaning "pottery", which in turn comes from keramos (κεραμος) meaning "potter's clay". Most traditional ceramic products were made from clay (or clay mixed with other materials), shaped and subjected to heat, and tableware and decorative ceramics are generally still made this way. In modern ceramic engineering usage, ceramics is the art and science of making objects from inorganic, non-metallic materials by the action of heat. It excludes glass and mosaic made from glass tesserae.
There is a long history of ceramic art in almost all developed cultures, and often ceramic objects are all the artistic evidence left from vanished cultures, like that of the Nok in Africa over 2,000 years ago. Cultures especially noted for ceramics include the Chinese, Cretan, Greek, Persian, Mayan, Japanese, and Korean cultures, as well as the modern Western cultures.
Elements of ceramic art, upon which different degrees of emphasis have been placed at different times, are the shape of the object, its decoration by painting, carving and other methods, and the glazing found on most ceramics.China painting
China painting, or porcelain painting, is the decoration of glazed porcelain objects such as plates, bowls, vases or statues. The body of the object may be hard-paste porcelain, developed in China in the 7th or 8th century, or soft-paste porcelain (often bone china), developed in 18th-century Europe. The broader term ceramic painting includes painted decoration on lead-glazed earthenware such as creamware or tin-glazed pottery such as maiolica or faience.
Typically the body is first fired in a kiln to convert it into a hard porous biscuit or bisque. Underglaze decoration may then be applied, followed by glaze, which is fired so it bonds to the body. The glazed porcelain may then be painted with overglaze decoration and fired again to bond the paint with the glaze. Most pieces use only one of underglaze or overglaze painting, the latter often being referred to as "enamelled". Decorations may be applied by brush or by stenciling, transfer printing, lithography and screen printing.
Porcelain painting was developed in China and later taken up in Korea and then Japan. Decorated Chinese porcelain from the 9th century has been found in the Middle East. Porcelain for trade with this region often has Islamic motifs. Trade with Europe began in the 16th century. By the early 18th century European manufacturers had discovered how to make porcelain. The Meissen porcelain factory in Saxony was followed by other factories in Germany, France, Britain and other European countries. Technology and styles evolved. The decoration of some hand-painted plates and vases from the 19th century resembles oil paintings. In the later part of the 19th century china painting became a respectable hobby for middle-class women in North America and Europe. More recently interest has revived in china painting as a fine art form.Chinese ceramics
Chinese ceramics show a continuous development since pre-dynastic times and are one of the most significant forms of Chinese art and ceramics globally. The first pottery was made during the Palaeolithic era. Chinese ceramics range from construction materials such as bricks and tiles, to hand-built pottery vessels fired in bonfires or kilns, to the sophisticated Chinese porcelain wares made for the imperial court and for export. Porcelain was a Chinese invention and is so identified with China that it is still called "china" in everyday English usage.
Most later Chinese ceramics, even of the finest quality, were made on an industrial scale, thus few names of individual potters were recorded. Many of the most important kiln workshops were owned by or reserved for the Emperor, and large quantities of Chinese export porcelain were exported as diplomatic gifts or for trade from an early date, initially to East Asia and the Islamic world, and then from around the 16th century to Europe. Chinese ceramics have had an enormous influence on other ceramic traditions in these areas.
Increasingly over their long history, Chinese ceramics can be classified between those made for the imperial court, either to use or distribute, those made for a discriminating Chinese market, and those for popular Chinese markets or for export. Some types of wares were also made only or mainly for special uses such as burial in tombs, or for use on altars.Dehua porcelain
Dehua porcelain (Chinese: 德化陶瓷; pinyin: Déhuà Táocí; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Tek-hòe hûi), more traditionally known in the West as Blanc de Chine (French for "White from China"), is a type of white Chinese porcelain, made at Dehua in the Fujian province. It has been produced from the Ming dynasty (1368–1644) to the present day. Large quantities arrived in Europe as Chinese export porcelain in the early 18th century and it was copied at Meissen and elsewhere. It was also exported to Japan in large quantities.Figurine
A figurine (a diminutive form of the word figure) or statuette is a small statue that represents a human, deity or animal, or in practice a pair or small group of them. Figurines have been made in many media, with clay, metal, wood, glass, and today plastic or resin the most significant. Ceramic figurines not made of porcelain are called terracottas in historical contexts.
Figures with movable parts, allowing limbs to be posed, are more likely to be called dolls, mannequins, or action figures; or robots or automata, if they can move on their own. Figurines and miniatures are sometimes used in board games, such as chess, and tabletop role playing games.Imari ware
Imari ware (Japanese: 伊万里焼, Hepburn: Imari-yaki) is a Western term for a brightly-coloured style of Arita ware (有田焼, Arita-yaki) 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 the 17th century and the first half of the 18th century.
Typically Imari ware (in the English use of the term) is decorated in underglaze blue, with red, gold, black for outlines, and sometimes other colours, added in overglaze. In the most characteristic floral designs most of the surface is coloured, with "a tendency to overdecoration that leads to fussiness". The style was so successful that Chinese and European producers began to copy it. Sometimes the different overglaze styles of Kakiemon and Kutani ware are also grouped under Imari ware.
The name derives from the port of Imari, Saga from which they were shipped to Nagasaki, where the Dutch East India Company and the Chinese had trading outposts. In the West the multi-coloured or "enamelled" wares became known as "Imari ware", and a different group kakiemon, while blue and white wares were called "Arita ware"; in fact the types were often produced at the same kilns. Today, the use of "Imari" as a descriptor has declined, and they are often called Arita wares (or Hizen wares, after the old province). Imari ware was copied in both China and Europe, and has been continuously produced to the present day.
"Early Imari" (shoki imari) is a traditional and somewhat confusing term used for very different wares that were made around Arita before about 1650. The porcelains are generally small and sparsely painted in underglaze blue for the domestic market, but there are also some large green celadon dishes, apparently made for the southeast Asian market, in a porcellaneous stoneware.Japanese pottery and porcelain
Pottery and porcelain (陶磁器, tōjiki) (also 焼きもの yakimono, or 陶芸 tōgei), 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 successful history of ceramic production. Earthenwares were created as early as the Jōmon period (10,000–300 BCE), giving Japan one of the oldest ceramic traditions in the world. Japan is further distinguished by the unusual esteem that ceramics holds within its artistic tradition, owing to the enduring popularity of the tea ceremony.
Japanese ceramic history records distinguished many potter names, and some were artist-potters, e.g. Hon'ami Kōetsu, Ogata Kenzan, and Aoki Mokubei. Japanese anagama kilns also have flourished through the ages, and their influence weighs with that of the potters. Another characteristically Japanese aspect of the art is the continuing popularity of unglazed high-fired stoneware even after porcelain became popular. Since the 4th century, Japanese ceramics have often been influenced by Chinese and Korean pottery. Japan transformed and translated the Chinese and Korean prototypes into a uniquely Japanese creation, and the result was distinctly Japanese in character. Since the mid-17th century when Japan started to industrialize, high-quality standard wares produced in factories became popular exports to Europe. In the 20th century, a modern ceramics industry (e.g., Noritake and Toto Ltd.) grew up.
Japanese pottery is distinguished by two polarised aesthetic traditions. On the one hand, there is a tradition of very simple and roughly finished pottery, mostly in earthenware and using a muted palette of earth colours. This relates to Zen Buddhism and many of the greatest masters were priests, especially in early periods. Many pieces are also related to the Japanese tea ceremony and embody the aesthetic principles of wabi-sabi ("austerity-rust/patina"). Most raku ware, where the final decoration is partly random, is in this tradition. The other tradition is of highly finished and brightly coloured factory wares, mostly in porcelain, with complex and balanced decoration, which develops Chinese porcelain styles in a distinct way. A third tradition, of simple but perfectly formed and glazed stonewares, also relates more closely to both Chinese and Korean traditions. In the 16th century, a number of styles of traditional utilitarian rustic wares then in production became admired for their simplicity, and their forms have often been kept in production to the present day for a collectors market.Korean pottery and porcelain
Korean ceramic history begins with the oldest earthenware dating to around 8000 BC. Influenced by Chinese ceramics, Korean pottery developed a distinct style of its own, with its own shapes, such as the moon jar or maebyeong version of the Chinese meiping vase, and later styles of painted decoration. Korean ceramic trends had an influence on Japanese pottery and porcelain. Examples of classic Korean wares are the celadons of the Goryeo dynasty (918–1392) and the white porcelains of the Joseon dynasty (1392–1897).Manufacture nationale de Sèvres
The manufacture nationale de Sèvres is one of the principal European porcelain manufactories. It is located in Sèvres, Hauts-de-Seine, France. It is the continuation of Vincennes porcelain, founded in 1738, which moved to Sèvres in 1756. It has been owned by the French crown or government since 1759, and has always maintained the highest standards of quality. Almost immediately, it replaced Meissen porcelain as the standard-setter among European porcelain factories, retaining this position until at least the 19th century.
Its production is still largely based on the creation of contemporary objects today. It became part of the Cité de la céramique with the Musée national de Céramique-Sèvres in 2010 and since 2012 with the Musée national Adrien Dubouché in Limoges.Meissen porcelain
Meissen porcelain or Meissen china was the first European hard-paste porcelain. It was developed starting in 1708 by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus. After his death that October, Johann Friedrich Böttger continued von Tschirnhaus's work and brought porcelain to the market. The production of porcelain at Meissen, near Dresden, started in 1710 and attracted artists and artisans to establish one of the most famous porcelain manufacturers known throughout the world. Its signature logo, the crossed swords, was introduced in 1720 to protect its production; the mark
of the swords is one of the oldest trademarks in existence.
Meissen remained the dominant European porcelain factory, and the leader of stylistic innovation, until somewhat overtaken by the new styles introduced by the French Sèvres factory in the 1760s, but has remained a leading factory to the present day. Among the developments pioneered by Meissen are the small porcelain figure, and the introduction of European decorative styles to replace the imitation of Asian decoration of its earliest wares.Porcelain gallbladder
Porcelain gallbladder is a calcification of the gallbladder believed to be brought on by excessive gallstones, although the exact cause is not clear. As with gallstone disease in general, this condition occurs predominantly in overweight female patients of middle age. It is a morphological variant of chronic cholecystitis. Inflammatory scarring of the wall, combined with dystrophic calcification within the wall transforms the gallbladder into a porcelain-like vessel. Removal of the gallbladder (cholecystectomy) is the recommended treatment.Pottery
Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery (plural "potteries"). The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products." In archaeology, especially of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" often means vessels only, and figures etc. of the same material are called "terracottas". Clay as a part of the materials used is required by some definitions of pottery, but this is dubious.
Pottery is one of the oldest human inventions, originating before the Neolithic period, with ceramic objects like the Gravettian culture Venus of Dolní Věstonice figurine discovered in the Czech Republic dating back to 29,000–25,000 BC, and pottery vessels that were discovered in Jiangxi, China, which date back to 18,000 BC. Early Neolithic pottery artefacts have been found in places such as Jōmon Japan (10,500 BC), the Russian Far East (14,000 BC), Sub-Saharan Africa and South America.
Pottery is made by forming a ceramic (often clay) body into objects of a desired shape and heating them to high temperatures (1000-1600 °C) in a kiln and induces reactions that lead to permanent changes including increasing the strength and solidity of the object's shape. Much pottery is purely utilitarian, but much can also be regarded as ceramic art. A clay body can be decorated before or after firing.
Clay-based pottery can be divided into three main groups: earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. These require increasingly more specific clay material, and increasingly higher firing temperatures. All three are made in glazed and unglazed varieties, for different purposes. All may also be decorated by various techniques. In many examples the group a piece belongs to is immediately visually apparent, but this is not always the case. The fritware of the Islamic world does not use clay, so technically falls outside these groups. Historic pottery of all these types is often grouped as either "fine" wares, relatively expensive and well-made, and following the aesthetic taste of the culture concerned, or alternatively "coarse", "popular" "folk" or "village" wares, mostly undecorated, or simply so, and often less well-made.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 vitrified or not, it is nonporous (does not soak up liquids); it may or may not be glazed. Historically, across the world, it has been developed after earthenware and before porcelain, and has often been used for high-quality as well as utilitarian wares.
As a rough guide, modern earthenwares are normally fired in a kiln at temperatures in the range of about 1,000°C (1,830 °F) to 1,200 °C (2,190 °F); stonewares at between about 1,100 °C (2,010 °F) to 1,300 °C (2,370 °F); and porcelains at between about 1,200 °C (2,190 °F) to 1,400 °C (2,550 °F). Historically, reaching high temperatures was a long-lasting challenge, and temperatures somewhat below these were used for a long time. Earthenware can be fired effectively as low as 600°C, achievable in primitive pit firing, but 800 °C (1,470 °F) to 1,100 °C (2,010 °F) was more typical. Stoneware also needs certain types of clays, more specific than those able to make earthenware, but can be made from a much wider range than porcelain.
Stoneware is not recognised as a category in traditional East Asian terminology, and much Asian stoneware, such as Chinese Ding ware for example, is counted as porcelain by local definitions. Terms such as "porcellaneous" or "near-porcelain" may be used in such cases. One definition of stoneware is from the Combined Nomenclature of the European Communities, a European industry standard. It states:
Stoneware, which, though dense, impermeable and hard enough to resist scratching by a steel point, differs from porcelain because it is more opaque, and normally only partially vitrified. It may be vitreous or semi-vitreous. It is usually coloured grey or brownish because of impurities in the clay used for its manufacture, and is normally glazed.Vitreous enamel
Vitreous enamel, also called porcelain enamel, is a material made by fusing powdered glass to a substrate by firing, usually between 750 and 850 °C (1,380 and 1,560 °F). The powder melts, flows, and then hardens to a smooth, durable vitreous coating. The word comes from the Latin vitreum, meaning "glassy".
Enamel can be used on metal, glass, ceramics, stone, or any material that will withstand the fusing temperature. In technical terms fired enamelware is an integrated layered composite of glass and another material (or more glass).
The term "enamel" is most often restricted to work on metal, which is the subject of this article. Enamelled glass is also called "painted", and overglaze decoration to pottery is often called enamelling.
Enamelling is an old and widely adopted technology, for most of its history mainly used in jewelry and decorative art. Since the 19th century, enamels have also been applied to many consumer objects, such as some cooking vessels, steel sinks, enamel bathtubs, and stone countertops. It has also been used on some appliances, such as dishwashers, laundry machines, and refrigerators, and on marker boards and signage.
The term "enamel" has also sometimes been applied to industrial materials other than vitreous enamel, such as "enamel" paint and the polymers coating "enamelled" wire.
The word enamel comes from the Old High German word smelzan (to smelt) via the Old French esmail, or from a Latin word smaltum, first found in a 9th-century life of Leo IV. Used as a noun, "an enamel" is usually a small decorative object coated with enamel. "Enamelled" and "enamelling" are the preferred spellings in British English, while "enameled" and "enameling" are preferred in American English.Vomiting
Vomiting is the involuntary, forceful expulsion of the contents of one's stomach through the mouth and sometimes the nose.Vomiting can be caused by a wide variety of conditions; it may present as a specific response to ailments like gastritis or poisoning, or as a non-specific sequela of disorders ranging from brain tumors and elevated intracranial pressure to overexposure to ionizing radiation. The feeling that one is about to vomit is called nausea, which often precedes, but does not always lead to, vomiting. Antiemetics are sometimes necessary to suppress nausea and vomiting. In severe cases, where dehydration develops, intravenous fluid may be required. Self-induced vomiting can be a component of an eating disorder, such as bulimia nervosa, and is itself now an eating disorder on its own, purging disorder.Vomiting is different from regurgitation, although the two terms are often used interchangeably. Regurgitation is the return of undigested food back up the esophagus to the mouth, without the force and displeasure associated with vomiting. The causes of vomiting and regurgitation are generally different.
Pottery and claywork
|Base minerals, and glazes|
|Main types, by body|
|Processes and decoration|
|History of pottery|