Ceramic products were first invented and widely used in China, and then spread to the world. You may encounter the name bone china when purchasing kitchen utensils everywhere. But what exactly is bone china and why is its product expensive? Does bone china really use bone ashes? How to find out the content of bone ash? Do daily bone china products really contain 50% of bone ashes?
There is no doubt that even people who have worked in this field for many years are still confused about the above problems and some relevant knowledge, let alone ordinary consumers.
Therefore, in this article, we will discuss the relevant content of bone china. Anyone who is interested in this topic can read this article to get the basic information about bone china they need to know.
What Is Bone China?
Source: Microsoft Bing
Porcelain has existed since about 620 A.D. The earliest porcelain originated in China and was made of pegmatite (a kind of granite) and kaolin (clay). Bone china is one of the types of porcelain.
Bone china was invented in Britain in the middle of the 18th century, and Thomas Frye took the lead in developing bone porcelain in 1748. He used the ashes in the ointment porcelain mixture when making ceramics. Fry used up to 45% of the ashes in his products, and he named it “high-quality porcelain”. The addition of bone ashes makes ceramic products stronger, softer, lighter and less brittle, making bone porcelain rapidly popular in Britain.
At present, the definition of bone china in the academic circle is: bone china, also known as fine bone porcelain and bone porcelain, is a kind of ceramic based on bone ashes, clay, feldspar materials and kaolin. Bone china needs to be fired twice, high temperature (1250°C) firing, also known as biscuit firing, and low temperature (1150°C) firing, also known as glaze firing. For decorative bone china products, the firing process is more complex, which may reach 3-5 times.
Typical daily bone china tableware includes bone china tableware, tea set, coffee set, cup set, etc.
Is Bone China Vegan?
After knowing the composition of bone china, some people will wonder: Is bone china a vegan? Many vegetarians question the ethics behind its design and manufacture. Then we need to continue to discuss other characteristics of bone china.
Generally, bone china consists of the following components: kaolin, bone ashes, and feldspar disease. Bone china is not considered vegetarian friendly because it contains bone ashes. Bone china uses animal bones discarded from slaughterhouses, especially cattle bones. Although bone china does not slaughter the body parts of animals, sometimes it will obtain the bones of animals that died naturally.
Seeing this, vegetarians may have begun to resist. However, thanks to the developers and researchers, there is a 100% vegetarian friendly version of bone china. The name of this bone china is new bone china, which contains zero animal products. The new bone china is made by adding calcium oxide and mineralizer into the raw material. These substances contain elements similar to bone ashes. Therefore, it has the same appearance as bone china, but its transparency is low.
The traditional bone porcelain is obviously not vegetarian, because one of its unique functions is to contain bone ashes in the manufacturing process. The moral issues included behind the process are not discussed by the author.
Properties of Bone China
Source: Microsoft Bing
This is the most prominent feature of bone china products. When exposed to the light source, the light directly passes through and illuminates the entire product. One of the most direct tests to identify its authenticity is to put the bone china object under the light and put the hand behind it. If it is really bone china, you should be able to see your fingers directly through it.
The warm and welcome appearance of bone china products depends on the content of bone ashes. The higher the concentration of ashes used in production, the better and brighter the whiteness level. High ash content exudes milky white, while low ash content will lead to yellow.
Due to the firing of glaze, bone china has a thinner and smoother texture. For example, when the bone china cup is gently touched, it will emit a dull cackle with long echoes. For porcelain cups, the sound is sharp and the echo is short.
When comparing ceramic products with similar shape and size, ceramic products made of bone china will be lighter. Bone china is thinner, stronger and has better toughness than other ceramic products.
It is not enough to have a charming appearance. Safety is the most concerned question. After all, tableware is what we use to provide food. It is very important that it has no toxicity to our health. The content of lead and cadmium in bone china is zero, which is considered to be the safest tableware. Its raw materials contain bone ashes, which is also good for people’s health, because bone ashes contain elements beneficial to people’s health.
Applications of Bone China
After understanding the basic information of bone china, what is the application of bone china in our daily life? The most common applications are as follows.
As the saying goes, food is the most important thing for the people. As the carrier of “food”, the choice of dinnerware is undoubtedly related to consumers. In the tableware market, to choose better tableware, bone china dinnerware is undoubtedly the best choice for your tableware in terms of quality and appearance. It is the only ceramic with both practical and artistic value, which make it as the only porcelain that is recognized as a symbol of high status of high-end porcelain. It is also known as the king of porcelain. The content of toxic elements such as lead and cadmium is much lower, which is beneficial to people’s health. Of course, compared with other ceramic dinnerware, the price of bone china is much higher, and the price is also an important factor to consider. In any case, if you are looking for high-quality and the better appearance of dinnerware, bone china is your choice.
2. Vases and Home Decor
Many years ago, ceramics were only used in ordinary daily necessities. People only paid attention to whether it could provide convenience for our lives. However, with the improvement of the quality of life, many daily necessities that used to focus only on practicality are also gradually developing towards artistry and decoration.
More and more people like to improve their sense of belonging to the house through vases and decorations. People integrate bone china technology into the vases, and display Chinese classical reliefs, hollows, figures, flowers and birds in the porcelain, which permeates the cultural atmosphere of the city, forming a perfect combination of architectural culture and bone porcelain technology, extending creativity, and catching the essence of the soul that complements each other. Sometimes, the flowers updated regularly in the vase on the table can directly bring a good mood every week!
3. LED Lamp
Source: Microsoft Bing
Compared with ordinary ceramics, bone china is transparent, because it is mixed with animal bones. Its perfect light transmittance determines the feasibility of bone china as a lamp material. The bone china lamps and lanterns skillfully combine practicality and artistry. In terms of design concept, they are luxurious, personalized, independent and not publicized. The color of bone china is elegant, implicit and transparent. The bone china is light and transparent, and it is resistant to high temperature, so it is very suitable to be used in lamp materials.
Combined with the rendering of light, the artistic effects embodied by the processing technology of contemporary bone porcelain, such as carving, hollowing, overglaze color and underglaze color, will be more perfectly presented. The combination of bone china lamps and contemporary new light source LED can shine brightly in both artistic expression and practicality of lamps, leaving the most exquisite and elegant color in the development milestone of LED lamp design.
Pros and Cons of Bone China Dinnerware
As the best of dinnerware, bone china tableware is inevitably compared with other types of tableware, and its advantages and disadvantages can be drawn.
Bone china is the strongest porcelain and can usually be used for a long time. They are not as fragile as porcelain. They will occasionally be hit and skidded without breaking. This makes them ideal for high-wear applications, such as cutting tools and wear-resistant parts.
- Thermal insulation
Compared with traditional ceramic ware, bone china has better thermal insulation effect, which will make tea and coffee have a longer thermal insulation effect.
Bone china is non-toxic and can be safely used to produce dinnerware, statuettes and other collectibles. Most importantly, bone ashes mainly contain calcium phosphate, which is an amino acid that can be safely used to make tableware, so that people can use it safely.
China bone has various colors and finishes, making it an ideal choice for aesthetic application. It is the only recognized high-end porcelain variety in the world, with both use and artistic value, and is a symbol of power and status, known as the king of porcelain. It can not only add luxury to your kitchen and dining space, but also add decoration and pleasant patterns to enhance its appearance.
Obviously, the biggest disadvantage of bone china is its high cost. The cost of raw materials to obtain bone china is high, and there are many expenses in the production process. This has greatly increased the price of bone china, making it more like a luxury than a necessity.
- Heat insulation
Because bone china is thin, it will be hot when holding hot things. For example, if we use bone china soup bowls when we serve soup, we should be very careful.
The existence of bone china has improved people’s quality of life, especially in senior places such as banquets, and bone china may be more popular. Of course, different kinds of porcelain have their charm, and what suits we is the best.
Through the brief introduction of this article, I believe that you have a basic understanding of bone china. I hope that the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of bone china introduced in this article can help you understand the elegance and beauty of bone china and know how to choose the right bone china as your life “conditioner”.