What Are Some Tips for Identifying Authentic Antique China?
To identify authentic antique china, examine the shape of the plates. Prior to the 1950s, most plates were round. If plates contain a rim or second circle inside the plate, this can help identify a maker and pattern. Examining the design also helps identify the manufacturer and production date because many companies were known for specific patterns, such as soft floral displays or classical Greek scenes. Also check for quality. Pieces within a set should be consistent in color and pattern with no bubbles, and they should be stable when laid on a flat surface.
What Are Some Differences Between Earthenware and Stoneware?
Although it looks rugged, earthenware is opaque, porous, and fragile, partly due to the relatively low firing temperature. If unglazed, earthenware absorbs and conducts water. Glazing prohibits the absorption of water and offers the opportunity for decorative design. Because of its porous characteristics, earthenware clay is a good material for planters, such as terra cotta pots, and oven steamers. A more durable product than earthenware, stoneware looks similar to hard stone after firing, hence the name. Generally leak-proof, glazed stoneware products tend to come in earth tones like tan, gray, or brown and make popular dinnerware for everyday use.
What Is Raku Pottery?
Named for its firing process, raku pottery originated in 16th century Japan. Most types of pottery load into a cold kiln for firing, and the process takes many hours to finish, but raku pottery loads into a hot kiln and has a much shorter production time. Artisans then place the pottery into a container with combustible materials like sawdust or dried leaves for smoking. This process creates a distinctive surface and decorative metallic or crackled effects in the finished product.