HOW WE MAKE OUR CERAMICS
We make all of our ceramics out of fine bone china. Fine bone china is the strongest type of ceramic - invented by Josiah Spode in the 18th century, it contains both china clay from Cornwall and bone ash, which makes the fired body translucent. It comes to us in liquid form, called ‘slip’. We use it to cast all of our ceramics, by pouring it into plaster moulds.
When slip casting, the plaster of the mould draws out the water from the slip that is touching it, thereby creating the walls of the vessel when the excess slip is poured out. Sometimes, very faint slip trails can be seen on the finished plates and bowls - a trait we embrace as a marker that our wares are painstakingly handmade and not made by a industrial machines such as jigger/jollys like almost all other china plates. Ours take much longer to make and we want to celebrate that, not hide it.
When the wares are taken out of their moulds, they then need sponging and fettling to ensure there are no sharp edges or - in the case of more complex multi-part moulds, seams - and that the entire object has a smooth finish.
The ware is then left to dry before being bisque fired. This is the first of 3 firings, and the hottest. After being bisque fired the bone china is fully vitrified and is now a solid form, ready to be sanded and glazed. Our glossy, translucent glaze is essentially a fine layer of glass that our wares are dipped into, left to dry and then any excess is sponged off the bases before they are fired again, their second firing, slightly less hot than the first.
After coming out of the glaze fire everything is checked over for any imperfections and then hand painted using a special type of ‘on-glaze’ paint. We use mainly Cobalt and gold - the gold is actually 22k gold suspended in a medium that paints on a deep dark brown and then, after being fired for the third and final time - seemingly magically comes out a bright shining gold. We then check, stamp and package everything up, ready for their new homes.