English Fine Bone China
WHAT IS FINE BONE CHINA?
Fine bone china was originally a soft-paste porcelain containing a percentage of animal bone calcium. Our business no longer uses animal bone to form our fine bone china, we now use natural crystalline minerals originating from the earth to create our products. To qualify as fine bone china, as defined by British Standard, the clay must contain a minimum of 35% by weight of Tri-Calcium Orthophosphate. The addition of this calcium gives the material a translucent quality when held up to the light, which you can test with all Halcyon Days Company fine bone china pieces. Ensuring we never compromise on quality, our secret formula of fine bone china has one of the highest calcium percentages of any manufacturer, so that we can produce the best products possible.
Despite its delicate, transparent nature, fine bone china is also the strongest of the porcelain or china ceramics, rarely chipping or breaking. It is for this reason that fine bone china remains the most desired and luxurious type of porcelain, often being regarded as the ‘jewel of ceramic materials’.
ENGLISH FINE BONE CHINA
The first examples of fine bone china were created in London in 1748 but the first commercially successful bone china was crafted by potters in Stoke-on-Trent in the 1790s, the same town where Halcyon Days and its sister company, fellow Royal Warrant Holder, Caverswall China has its factory and manufacturing today. Because of this knowledge and heritage, English fine bone china remains the most sought after china in the world.
Each piece of our English fine bone china has been crafted, from clay to finished product, by hand in our Stoke-on-Trent factory. A small team of master craftsmen, potters and artisans use skills passed down for generations to craft ranges of fine bone china dinnerware and teaware that are entirely handmade.
From glazing the fine bone china teacups to gilding their matching saucers, each element is made with an attention to detail that no other fine bone china can boast. The level of skill and knowledge required to create the exquisite finished product is a wonder to see.
Each piece of English fine bone china begins as a liquid clay, known as the slip. This is poured into moulds to create the particular shapes. The moulds are a negative of the shape formed in clay and moulds such as this are used to caste hollow ware such as teacups, teapots and mugs. Each clay piece is then fired at 1230 degrees to create the ware known as biscuit because of its dry biscuit-like surface.
Each piece is then glazed by hand a second firing at 1130 degrees. Following the second firing, the finished and now glossy white ware is ready for decoration. A lithograph is hand applied to the white ware before another firing process. Our artisans then hand gild each teacup, plate, saucer, mug and teapot by using a very fine brush to apply liquid gold to the rims. Each gilded piece is then fired again at 775 degrees. Once polished, the finished products go through scrupulous quality inspection ahead of packaging.