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To determine this, the first thing to do is to check the piece’s translucence. Hold the item up to as strong a light as is available. The light will show through a true porcelain or china piece. The second method for determining if a piece is authentic porcelain will only work if the piece is flawless or nearly so. Set it on a stable smooth surface and strike it lightly. A true china piece will ring with a clear bell like sound.
Porcelain is justly prized for its fine qualities.
Porcelain is a strong material and will last a long time! The toughness, strength and translucency comes mainly from vitrification at the high temperatures it goes through. Porcelain conserves its color and characteristics for a long time. Words that describe it are: hard, tough, completely vitrified, whiteness, translucency, resonance. and a high resistance to chemical attack and thermal shock. Despite its seeming fragility, porcelain can actually withstand a great deal of wear.
Glossary of porcelain terms
Glossary of porcelain terms
A general term referring to all wares made from fired clay, including earthenware, stoneware, porcelaneous ware and porcelain – or an object made from such substances. From the Greek words Keramikos and Keramos – meaning “potter’s clay” and “pottery”.
The generally accepted definition of porcelain is that of a white, vitrified, translucent ceramic, fired to a temperature of at least 1280 centigrades. The body of most Chinese porcelain is made from a mixture of white China clay (kaolin) and porcelain stone (dunzi, a feldspathic rock); the latter being ground to powder and mixed with the clay. The body and glaze are usually fired together in a reducing atmosphere at a temperature between 1200 and 1300 centigrades in a single firing, forming an integrated body/glaze layer.
White-firing China clay, an essential ingredient of Chinese porcelain. It consists mainly of silicon oxide and aluminum oxide, with a low content of iron oxide and other metallic oxides. The name derives from that of the Gaoling (High ridge) hills, from where the China clay used at the Jingdezhen kilns was obtained up until the end of the Ming dynasty.
Unglazed porcelain. In Europe Biscuit porcelain was used for making figures at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century at the Sevres porcelain factory and particularly at Meissen and at the Derby porcelain factories in England. The French term for biscuit ware is, Bisque.
In ceramics, enamels may be applied either to a pre-fired, unglazed body, or painted onto the surface of a high-fired glaze, after which the object is fired a second time at a lower temperature. Overglaze enamels seem first to have appeared in China on stonewares made at the Cizhou kilns in the Song or Jin dynasties.
Enamel pigment in its natural state is a dry powder. It can be applied in several ways, usually mixed with oil, glue or plain water. When applied by painting, the colors are applied by gently, sweeping brush strokes. Once the pigment has dried no further work can be done without first firing the ware. If another color is to be painted over the first coat it is sometimes necessary to keep the applied oxides wet. If the initial coat was allowed to dry it would be removed by the brush when the second coat was applied.