Tableware from porcelain - the accessory of housing, which they say "the house is a full cup". The porcelain tea set turns an ordinary breakfast into a ceremonial. In delicate cups and plates, the taste of food and drink varies, and tea utensils on the table in full assortment: cups, saucers, kettle, sugar bowl, milkman - delivers aesthetic pleasure to the owner and raises his self-esteem.
What is porcelain and what happens?
Porcelain dishes are distinguished by their whiteness, strength, at the same time lightness and transparency. Porcelain is made from burnt clay, kaolin and spar. Depending on the composition and method of clay processing, the following kinds of porcelain are distinguished:
- solid (spar).
Classification is carried out depending on the amount of kaolin: the higher the concentration, the better the quality of porcelain.
The latter variety is considered the best, the real porcelain from which elite tableware is made. It is surprisingly durable, heat-resistant, with virtually no effect of acids. Outwardly, the dishes made of solid porcelain are subtly transparent, snow-white, with the slightest hint of blue.
Soft porcelain contains a high concentration of glass-like components and a small percentage of clay. Such dishes are more transparent, but less white, not so durable and heat-resistant.
Bone porcelain is named so because of the addition of lime from the burned bone. By color, strength, hardness, transparency is between the hard and soft varieties.
Depending on the type of material, the purpose of porcelain dishes is determined. The daily meal involves hard or bone china on the table; As a decorative decoration, transparent and fragile tableware made of soft material is most often used.
In the world of porcelain, a reputation and a brand are decided by virtually everyone. After all, they guarantee compliance with the norms of environmental and hygienic safety. Having bought branded products, a person is sure that he will not get poisoned by consuming food from a brightly painted plate. As well as a century ago, today it is German (especially Meissen figurines), Russian, Chinese, French and English porcelain.
Such a dining room and tea utensils are offered by well-known brands in the field of porcelain production:
- Augarten - Viennese manufactory, three centuries manufacturing premium goods in strictly limited editions. One hundred percent hand-maid, issued on a specific occasion. These are family services on special order with monograms or coats of arms, collection coffee cups or a set of "plates of the year" of 365 pieces.
- "Imperial Porcelain" - the first Russian porcelain factory; kept production in full. A legendary enterprise, the supplier of the royal court, who produced services, including up to a thousand items.
- Meissen is the oldest European brand. For nearly three hundred years, two identical products have not been produced. All dishes and unique figurines are painted by hand, without them there is not a single solid auction.
- Noritake is a Japanese luxury of classic outlines. It is translucent in the light, decorated with gold and platinum. Particularly prized eco-friendly bone china with olive tint, the recipe of which - the commercial secret of the company. Services are made in limited series, after which the billets are broken, immediately turning the dishes into exclusive ones. Eastern finesse is complemented by practicality: porcelain can be washed in a dishwasher.
- Royal Albert - produces bone-white English porcelain for over a hundred years. He is not only beautiful, but also durable. Supplier of the Royal Court of Great Britain.
- VilleroyBoch - produces bone dishes with a decor of classical forms in white and blue. Adherents of asymmetry admire ethnic collections. All dishes are heat-resistant, do not react to a microwave or dishwasher.
Marking in the form of a trademark is located on the bottom of the product from the outside.
If the issues of prestige do not excite, and only concern quality, it is worthwhile to know that the products of different varieties are supplied with the brand of the corresponding color: the first grade - red, the second - blue, the third - green.
Where is porcelain used?
Porcelain is traditionally and widely used as a material for the production of services and individual items for eating.
Kitchen utensils from porcelain are considered the most elite in this segment. It is much more prestigious than glass, faience or any other. It is a symbol of wealth, timeless or fashionable, an obligatory element of serving a festive table.
There are different types of porcelain tableware: table, coffee and tea; exclusive for solemn occasions or everyday use.
Expensive tea or table sets of hard porcelain, valued for perfect whiteness, strength and heat resistance - an attribute of luxury restaurants, private meals of status individuals or wealthy people. In ordinary houses, if there is, for example, real English porcelain, they get it out of the cupboard on holidays. Every day the dishes are more demanded: cups, plates, saucers in budget execution. But they are still more prestigious than the heavier and opaque crockery.
One of the fresh fashion trends among rich people is porcelain in the style of the interior.
The second sphere of using porcelain is figurines, figurines and other small plastic used for decorating the interior. Along with the traditional fashionable hobby, it became to make figurines or flowers from cold porcelain.
The composition is called so because it is prepared at room temperature or on a small fire. To work you need water, baking soda, starch, vegetable oil. The mixture is heated. Without any heat treatment, a composition of starch, petrolatum, soda and PVA glue is used. There are similar mixtures with the addition of dyes. But in any case, hand-made crafts made of cold porcelain are exclusive and can become a source of pride or the start of a business.
Tableware from porcelain can be embossed or smooth, monochrome or multi-colored decor.
The relief is applied to plates or cup walls by engraving or perforating. It is molded in a special form with utensils, but some elements are made separately, after which they are glued.
Smooth decoration is performed under the glaze or above it. Underglaze processing has, for example, Chinese dishes: blue painting on a white background. The pattern is applied to the workpiece, which, together with the glaze, is then fed to the firing. Overglaze method means the painting of porcelain dishes with colored enamel. Limit the use of this technique scant palette.
Always at the peak of the popularity of the classic: white porcelain dishes without any ornaments. The highest grades of porcelain are not needed - the "breed" is so clearly visible. Variety is only in the design of forms, but it is also elegantly restrained.
For fans of all the brightly produced sets with the original colorful design of the surface.
Experts do not advise buying sets or individual items of little-known manufacturers, brightly decorated in combination with mother of pearl - there may be found cadmium or lead.
Care of products from porcelain
The main characteristic of porcelain dishes is strength and durability with careful care. The vulnerable side is the darkening and loss of the original flawless appearance in the process of use, but this is not critical if you know how to clean it competently. Primordial shine and whiteness can be returned in several ways:
- wiping the dishes with a soft sponge soaked in turpentine;
- Traces of coffee, tea or other beverages are wiped with a strong solution of soda or salt;
- other spots are removed with a warm weak solution of ammonia;
- you can not leave china in the water for long;
- dishes with a pattern are washed not too hot water;
- beautiful dishes do not like household chemicals, especially abrasive powders, which can scratch the surface;
- wash better created specifically for porcelain agents or non-aggressive low-active, for example, soap;
- it is better if the porcelain dishes are washed by hand, cleaned separately from other devices, with a soft sponge;
- for the time of washing you need to remove rings, rings, so as not to scratch it;
- dishes with a metal decor are in no way put in a microwave oven or dishwasher;
- washed dishes are wiped with a soft cloth and immediately put to dry.
Rarely used porcelain plates are shifted with white paper or napkins, and the cups are not exposed with a slide so that the handles do not fall off.
Appearance largely determines the quality of porcelain dishes. Criteria for visual assessment:
- Aesthetic appeal: it's nice to look at a service, a sugar bowl or a plate.
- The present porcelain is not decorated with a lush decor, the pattern is only partially.
- In light, the best quality material is transparent, with hints of milk, cream or freshly fallen snow. You can determine the real shade of the product by looking at its bottom.
- In a normal or inverted position, cups or plates are stable, do not stagger, do not bend.
- Glaze must be free from cracks, inclusions, scratches.
- On the bottom there is always an unpainted bezel, allowing to estimate the original color of porcelain.
- Check by ear. Qualitative porcelain, if you can knock on it lightly, makes a light melodious ring.
- Tactile test. Porcelain, even impressive in appearance, is actually light. Quality dishes are distinguished by a pleasant smoothness, rounded edges or details of the decor, no gaps, chips, porous impregnations, roughness, bubbles.
In smooth outlines, subtlety, delicate artistic work, the predominance of floral motifs is recognized, for example, by genuine English porcelain.
This porcelain is sold only in large specialized stores or from authorized dealers w
ith the necessary documentation.
A very profitable investment can become an ancient dish made of porcelain - its price never falls, but only grows.
Porcelain antiquarian cup or plate requires carefulness, but they decorate the interior of any style. They love collectors and figurines, especially from Meissen. The price of well-preserved specimens of world brands reaches thousands of dollars at auctions. The coveted object of the hunt for connoisseurs is the rarities of the Imperial Porcelain Factory, made once for the royal family of Russia.
A good gift, a useful hobby
If you do not know what to give to a person, feel free to buy a cup and a saucer for tea. This tea pair of porcelain is sometimes supplemented with a spoon and a glass for water. A gift is appropriate almost in any case - everybody loves to be poached.