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Another early method is once-fired where the glaze is applied to the unfired body and the two fired together in a single operation.
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. The European name, porcelain in English, come from the old Italian porcellana (cowrie shell) because of its resemblance to the translucent surface of the shell.
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.
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.
Porcelain slowly evolved in China and was finally achieved (depending on the definition used) at some point about 2,000 and 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.
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.
Terms such as "proto-porcelain", "porcellaneous" or "near-porcelain" may be used in cases where the ceramic body approaches whiteness and translucency.
Kaolin is the primary material from which porcelain is made, even though clay minerals might account for only a small proportion of the whole.
Porcelain is fired at a higher temperature than earthenware so that the body can vitrify and become non-porous.