Sie sind in: HOME / Produkte / Zepter Home Art / Masterpiece Collection / Porcelain
Text Size | A | A | A

PORCELAIN


The Art of Porcelain

Welcome to the realm of Zepter’s Masterpiece Collection.
A collection upon which artisans have delicately applied inspired patterns in gold, making every piece of these seven collections an object of our constant desire for beauty.
Top class craftsmanship and attention to detail, joined with refined taste and sophisticated style, have given Zepter Masterpiece Collection global recognition for quality.

Delicate gems in the realm of beauty

Zepter Porcelain is the ultimate expression of a three step approach to food that requires meals to be healthy, tasty and finally to look good on the table, for the full enjoyment and appreciation of the food and company.
In all collections of Zepter porcelain it is easy to find the same high craftsmanship, top quality and refined aesthetic taste, but also style variety and an ideal balance between classic art and contemporary needs.
Zepter Masterpiece Collection is inspired by beauty, both of nature and the man-made. Reminiscence of the ancient tradition first recorded in XIII century by Marco Polo who, returning from China, compared porcelain to the beauty, delicacy and hardness of the Porcella seashell.
Zepter Masterpiece Collection items are contemporary pieces of art which inherit the charm that impressed ancient European travellers, but made in modern facilities with the latest technology available, which gave it high aesthetics, durability and quality.


PRODUCT ADVANTAGES

The finest quality for royal elegance

Zepter’s Masterpiece Collection is made exclusively using hard-paste porcelain, which is resistant even to steel scratching: due to its high kaolin content (50-55%) and the low admixture of quartz and feldspar (20 and 30% respectively). This kind of porcelain can be fired at very high temperatures, up to 1,350-1,460°C.
Zepter’s Masterpiece Collection respects the original method of porcelain production, which dates back to the beginning of the XVIII century when Johann Friedrich Böttger refined the formula invented by the mathematician and scientist Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and, experimenting with Dutch colleagues, laid the foundations for the modern manufacturing process. This was a great step forward, since until then China had been the sole producer of porcelain: this was shipped to Europe exclusively by the Dutch East India Company, and represented wealth, prestige and peerless refined taste…
Now, in the XXI century, Zepter has brought porcelain back to its original splendour and exclusivity, that gives a royal elegance to any table, and turns an everyday occasion into a celebration.

Beauty born in fire

In order to produce its exclusive porcelain, Zepter works solely with “in-glaze” and “on-glaze” techniques.
During the “in-glaze” fire manufacturing process, a ground colour is applied indirectly to the dishware using anti-adhesive paper, by means of screen-printing, and then fired at 1,250°C so that the colour can sink into the re-liquefied glaze, thereby acquiring its unmistakeable gloss. Subsequently, the “on-glaze fire” procedure takes place: the motifs (Zepter’s Royal, Imperial and Black & White) are painted by hand, with or without gold decorations, and the porcelain pieces are fired at 840°C. As implied by the name, the decoration is thus “on the glaze”.
The final stage involves gold hand-painting using a 22-carat gold thinner, which is of a brownish colour before burnout as a result of the oils and additives used; the edge details are then applied by brush. This procedure is called “gold fire” and is carried out at 800°C. Similarly, the handles, decorations and borders are exclusively painted on by hand. This craftwork is very specialised, and is passed from painter to painter through decades of learning. Compared with standard porcelain make in each single production phase (i.e. the motif and the gold decorations are applied during the printing pressure process), the difference and absolute superiority of Zepter’s Masterpiece Collection is evident in every detail.
 






Zepter’s Masterpiece Collection is made exclusively using hard-paste porcelain, which is resistant even to steel scratching




Handles, decorations and borders are exclusively painted on by hand.




As implied by the name, the decoration is thus “on the glaze”. The final stage involves gold hand-painting using a 22-carat gold thinner.


PRODUCT BENEFITS

The elements range

The richness and perfection of detail, combined with the large number of items available, form an impressive range of table settings. The porcelain collection comes with the largest possible list of items for the table serving: from large serving plates to the tiniest salt shaker, from soup tureens to tea and espresso cups, every set has been conceived so as to be able to mix and match individual pieces, from the most essential to the complete range in all its magnificence. And finally a complete range for serving tea, coffee and espresso are also provided.

Certificate of authenticity

Zepter International is proud to certify that these porcelains and the related collection from the Table Art range are entirely handmade and hand-finished with the highest quality materials. They are completely manufactured in Bavaria - Germany with the highest levels of craftsmanship. Each piece is made exclusively with hard-paste porcelain according to the original 18th century method. The finishing technique used for the colour patterns is the “in-glaze method” and the gold is applied with the “on-glaze method”.
Their fine gildings are hand-painted in 22-carat gold with the “gold firing” technique and very specialised workmanship.

Zepter International guarantees the highest standards of quality and technology by choosing the finest raw materials of controlled, European origin and by strict surveillance of the production processes.
 
The richness and perfection of detail, combined with the large number of items available, form an impressive range of table settings.


Certificate of authenticity

SPECIAL

From ceramics to porcelain

You will probably know that making clay objects is one of the most ancient human activities.
As far back as Neolithic times, man began to mould simple dishes out of clay to decorate them with fingerprints, shells and the like. Later, the pottery was fired to become harder and more resistant.

It has been nearly 7,000 years since people first began to grow wheat, peas, beans and lentils. All the while they sought the ways of preserving the foods. And so they started making jars of clay.

It was all very rudimentary at first. The most important thing was choosing the right kind of clay, the one sticky enough. The ancient potters would treat clay by removing all impurities and form it like cylinders. The actual production began as the cylindrical shape was changed into a spiral (water was being added) and then a bowl. The bowl would be left to dry and harden to prevent damage. After on hour, the rim of the bowl would be wetted and formed by attaching hoops.

When such a jar, typically used for wheat, would dry, the ancient potters would leave it on fire for at least two hours. When the fire consumed all the wood, the clay product would be finished. Not all dishes passed the fire exam as some cracked and other were wrecked by wood fragments.
The invention of the potter’s wheel, probably by old Semitic peoples such as the Hittites, sped up the production of round dishes.

The basic skills of brick-glazing can be read from the findings at the archaeological sites of Babylon and Mesopotamia. Also, outstanding ceramic dishes were found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs. In ancient Greece, there were the amphorae and vases with well-known black-red motifs. And after the great migration of the peoples, the Moors introduced their ceramics to Spain.

What about China?

In the Far East, as in China, porcelain began to be made as early as the 7th century AD, the process was kept secret and exclusive exports to Europe began from the 13th century.

How porcelain came to Europe

Did you know how porcelain reached Europe?
Chinese first mastered the skill of firing porcelain. In the 7th century BC, the so-called proto-porcelain began to be made in China. The products were neither entirely white nor translucent.
Genuine porcelain has been produced in China since then. The term kaolin (one of the basic ingredients of porcelain) comes from the name of the mountain Gao-Ling, where the porcelain clay was being dug.
Celadon, the porcelain with a pale grey-green glaze, was made exclusively for the emperor and his court.
Returning from Asia, Marco Polo brought china to Europe before the year 1290. The term porcelain originates from porcella, or a seashell in Italian, as the material resembled seashells both in bulk and when fragmented.

Porcelain in Europe

Ever since, Europe has striven to make porcelain seeking to uncover the closely guarded secret of china-making from the Chinese.
In the 15th century, porcelain began to be imported from China in larger quantities but was still rather expensive, considering its counter value in gold.
In this period, china symbolised prestige for European aristocracy, appealing to the nobility with its rich colour and delicate ornamentation.
Until then, Europe had been unable to create as high temperatures as were necessary for the firing (and making) of porcelain.
Among the initial European attempts was the so-called Medici porcelain, in the 15th century Italy. White but hardly as translucent as Chinese porcelain, its decoration imitated Chinese motifs in cobalt.
Similarly, the famous Fanases Delft, Holland, copied the Chinese patterns.
Meanwhile, Chinese ships loaded with fine, fragile goods unloaded at the ports of Amsterdam, Genoa and Venice and from there the china went to royal courts and glamorous palaces. The era’s richest people competed with precious collections as symbols of prestige and power.

Discovering the secret of china-making

It was Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and doctor Johann Friedrich Böttger that finally discovered the secret of porcelain material in Meissen in 1708.
Their first attempts at porcelain resembled hard reddish-brown stone. Kaolin came in only after baroque wigs began to be powdered.

A secret is also kept at Meissen

Soon afterwards a pottery for this semi-porcelain was opened in Meissen in 1708. Both gentlemen worked hard to break the code of the compound.
Finally, Böttger succeeded in 1709, only a year after Von Tschirnhaus had died.
Next year, the first porcelain pottery was established in Meissen and run by Böttger until his death in 1719. In 1718, a few workers of the Meissen castle leaked out the porcelain-making know-how. Another porcelain pottery was set up in Vienna in 1718.

How is porcelain made?

First off, the material is prepared. It is:
  • 50 percent kaolin (white, watered, greasy and plastic earthen substance created by complex changes in feldspar) and
  • 50 percent non-plastic substances (half feldspar paste for easier melting and half quartz for texture).
In 1718, Dutchman Claudis Innocetius du Paquler opened the second European porcelain pottery in Vienna and from the mid-18th century, factories were being started all over Europe.

To make porcelain, we need:
  • kaolin,
  • feldspar paste,
  • quartz and other ingredients.
The various mutual ratios of these substances define hard and soft porcelain.
Hard porcelain is made of 40-65 % kaolin like most of the European factories, soft eastern-Asian porcelain contains under 40% kaolin and the remaining substances, the feldspar paste and quartz, in a 50-50 proportion, account for the rest. Dental porcelain is over 80% feldspar. The compound is kneaded and rubbed, washed and then shaped.
After the material shaped to preference and then, importantly, dried and fired in a tunnel kiln at over 900°C. This porcelain called biscuit may or may not be glazed. If glazed, it needs another heat treatment, at 1450°C, afterwards. This done, the process is nearly complete with the exception of decoration which we will see later.

What is kaolin?

Kaolin is a pure substance originating from feldspar, maximally hard, transparent and white and fired at over 1300°C. It has to be fired in a limited space, that is, with as little air as possible, to secure its whiteness and prevent the unwanted change of colouration by iron impurities.
Porcelain density is about 1231 kg/m2 Kaolin was named after the mountain Gao–Lin in China where this substance was first found.

 
 

 

From ceramics to porcelain




In the Far East, as in China, porcelain began to be made as early as the 7th century AD




Did you know how porcelain reached Europe?




Returning from Asia, Marco Polo brought china to Europe before the year 1290.




In the 15th century, porcelain began to be imported from China in larger quantities but was still rather expensive, considering its counter value in gold.




It was Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus and doctor Johann Friedrich Böttger that finally discovered the secret of porcelain material in Meissen in 1708.




How is porcelain made?




To make porcelain, we need: kaolin, feldspar paste, quartz and other ingredients.




Hard porcelain is made of 40-65 % kaolin like most of the European factories, soft eastern-Asian porcelain contains under 40% kaolin and the remaining substances




Kaolin is a pure substance originating from feldspar, maximally hard, transparent and white and fired at over 1300°C.