ENGLISH FINE BONE CHINA - THE PROCESS
English fine bone china is made of a liquid clay containing, natural clay and finely ground animal bone, together known as slip. This slip is poured into moulds of respective shapes such as mugs, jugs and teapots.Once poured into the mould, the slip is then left to partially set, creating a positive impression of the mould, to give the shape of the product. The excess slip is then poured back into the slip reservoir and recycled, to allow the impression to set fully.
Once the clay has fully set within the mould, it is removed whereupon any accessories such as handles are added.
Each piece of clay at this stage is very fragile. Each piece is then fired at 1240 degrees to create 'biscuit', so-called because of its biscuit-like texture. The clay will shrink up to 14% after the first firing process. Each piece is then dipped in vegetable dye prior to a second firing at 1080 degrees, after which the product is now at the white ware stage, ready for decoration.
The artisans at Staffordshire Heritage Fine China, based in Stoke-on-Trent apply a Bugz and Beastiez design lithograph by hand to the white ware before the final firing process. Then a fine brush is used to hand gild each product, applying liquid gold to the rims and to the mug handles. Each piece is then fired again at 780 degrees, after which it is polished and inspected ahead of packaging.
From clay stage, each piece is processed by 10 pairs of highly skilled hands, making it among the best English fine bone china around.