Porcelain Dishes: Combining Beauty with Strength
Dishware pieces were some of the oldest entirely man-man products ever created. So, why is it so hard nowadays to find dinnerware that is both charming and practical? China not was not only accredited as inventing the first types of dinnerware, but also for creating porcelain. As one of China’s most highly valued ceramics, investing in some porcelain dishware is a great option that most people unwittingly overlook. Porcelain is dynamic in the sense that it is able to grace your guests while also being able to withstand the wear, and tear of daily life. Dating all the way back to the Chinese Tang Dynasty in 610 A.D., it still possesses unsurpassable strength and beauty to this day.
Though it is commonly known as “china” or “chinaware,” those terms do not mean the same thing as porcelain. The most distinguishable difference is that you can see through porcelain whereas with china you cannot. Created under intense heat, porcelain is a blend of various clays, feldspar, flint, and silica. Genuine porcelain is characterized by a seemingly delicate appearance, a pale whiteness, and a translucence that you can see through. But what you are probably not expecting is that porcelain, is also the toughest ceramic product. This hard durability is what makes it extremely resistant to cracking, chipping, or even scratching.
Porcelain also combines glass’s low porosity, and clay’s ability to keep its shape even when it’s heated. As a result, it is used for electrical insulators and laboratory equipment. So, you can be sure that you won’t have to baby your dishes, and that they will be able to withstand even the most powerful of dishwashers. But, most importantly, it is especially safe as it does not possess an odor or taste of its own. It has even been proven that it has substances that are capable of killing bacteria.
But before you head out to find your own set of porcelain, you should first be able to distinguish the three different kinds. The first is known as “hard-paste” porcelain, or natural porcelain, is the most ideal as it is what all other kinds of porcelain is modeled after. It is also the sturdiest of any type as it can best withstand the highest of temperatures, and best resists melting. The only downside is that it is almost impossible to piece it back together if it happens to get broken since hot temperatures cause the body to blend as one. The second type is known as “soft-base,” or artificial porcelain. While it may not be able to withstand as high of temperatures, it produces a grainier, visible texture when broken. You may even find yourself preferring this creamy color as opposed to the pure white of hard-paste porcelain. The last type of porcelain is called “bone china.” Adding burned animal bones to the other ingredients to make porcelain creates bone china. This bone ash has since been replaced by various feldspars, and exported ingredients. The only draw from this bone ash is that it increases porcelains translucence.
Though genuine porcelain can run pretty pricey, you can find incredible deals online through websites like Overstock.com. For instance, you can find a complete, formal 49-piece porcelain dinnerware set for as low as $116.99. Whether you are having the boss over or trying to have some quality family time at the dinner table, you will proud to have made both a beautiful, and practical investment.