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Some of the most well-known Chinese porcelain art styles arrived in Europe during this era, such as the coveted "blue-and-white" wares.

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.

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.

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.

Some of the best-known examples are of Jingdezhen porcelain.

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 wares may be decorated under the glaze using pigments that include cobalt and copper or over the glaze using coloured enamels.

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.

There is no precise date to separate the production of proto-porcelain from that of porcelain.

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