stone china

Bone china

Bone china is a type of porcelain body first developed in Britain in which calcined cattle bone (bone ash) is a major constituent. It is characterised by high whiteness, translucency and strength. Production usually involves a two stage firing where the first, bisque, is without a glaze at 1280 °C (2336 °F), which gives a translucent product and then glaze, or glost, fired at a lower temperature below 1080 °C (1976 °F).

English manufacturers were keen to produce porcelain of the quality to be found in Chinese imports, but they had to go down a different route. The first use of bone ash in ceramics is attributed to Thomas Frye in 1748 to make a type of soft-paste porcelain, at his Bow China Works. In the late 18th century, Josiah Spode undertook further developments, and subsequently popularised it, by mixing it with kaolin and China stone to compete with the imported Oriental porcelain.

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