What Is The Formula For Surface Area Of A Sphere Brides: Picking Your Fine China

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Brides: Picking Your Fine China

I spent a lot of my life doing ceramics; most work with fine porcelain and crystal. A friend of mine suggested I write an article to help brides choose their china.

Funny, but I rarely write about ceramics anymore. I wrote a couple of books on the subject and was an editor Journal of the Ceramics Industry so it’s not that I’m not well versed in the subject. Writing has always been about me and separate from my profession.

I wrote novels in my spare time. I did write a novel centered around pottery in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. There is a novel Bone China. Bone China is a complex detective story in which a detective wonders what is happening to missing people in a small Pennsylvania town. Are they cremated in an abandoned pottery factory and used to make bone china? Nazis? This is as close as I got to pottery.

Well, let’s get down to it. Let’s take a look at some of the factors you should consider when choosing your fine china. First, remember that porous porcelain is not covered here. It’s called half glass, queen dish and stuff like that. It is also not covered with stoneware.


Bone China

You are interested in several types of fine china. The first one is Bone China.

Bone china is made from bone ash. Bone ash is obtained by calcining animal bones at high temperatures. Bone ash is a commodity. This means that it comes from many different countries and uses the bones of many animals.

The bones used to make bone ash come from camels, horses, cows, pigs, llamas and other creatures.

Here’s the question: Does it matter to you?

If you’re Jewish, it might be.

All I can say is that when bones are calcined, all organic matter is destroyed. Bone ash becomes exactly like the natural mineral found in phosphate rock. If it’s ceramic, you won’t be able to tell the difference.

I have been a consultant to Jewish rabbis for a year. The consensus has always been that cleaning bone ash at high temperatures makes it kosher. If you are concerned about this, talk to your rabbi.

Remember: the bone ash used to make a particular porcelain may not be made from pig bones. Most large Chinese companies specify that bone ash does not contain pig bones. However, in my experience, most bone ash suppliers cannot always guarantee that some pig bones can sneak into their process.

Many Jewish brides have decided that bone china is kosher. I agree with them for one reason, most rabbis agree with them.

How much bone ash should be in bone china? The classic formula is 50%. If the content is less than 47%, you can lose one of the most important properties of bone china. Bone china should be white, not whitish to any extent.

Bone ash gives the composition transparency. If you put your hand behind the bone china plate, you should see it clearly. The reason is that the refractive index of the formed phosphate compounds is the same as that of the glass formed in ceramics. Since they are the same, the light does not scatter.

Just remember this. Bone china should be off-white and translucent. This means that there is very little ball clay in the composition. Fine English kaolin preserves the whiteness of the body. Chinastone is a flint/feldspar mixture used by British bone china potters for the same reason.

Bone china is made Chinese process. This means that the body is exposed to a high temperature until the body is completely solid butter the vitreous. This first firing is called a bisque fire or bisque fire. After bisque firing, the dishes are heated, glazed and fired at a lower temperature. Decorations are applied using decalcomania, hand painting, embossing, etc. More on that later.

Boneless fine china

Most manufacturers make Ivory grade from China. Ivory is very popular and also very beautiful if the body is properly formulated and the body fully matures during bisque firing.

The composition is what we ceramic engineers call “feldspathic”. This means that the body contains the mineral feldspar. The concentration of feldspar is high to ensure the body’s vitreous body. Canadian feldspar (nepheline syenite) is sometimes used to lower the bisque firing temperature.

English kaolin ensures the desired whiteness and transparency. Only a small amount of ball clay is used. The remaining ingredient is flint. For both fine porcelain and bone china, the body must be finely ground to develop the desired properties. Glazing and decoration are the same as for bone china.


It all started with the Chinese. The word “kaolin” (kaolin) came from the name of a Chinese province. Maybe the province is still under the same name for all I know. The classic composition is 50% kaolin, 25% flint (silicon dioxide) and 25% feldspar.

European porcelains are popular among brides. Some manufacturers have been able to approach the whiteness and transparency of Chinese porcelain. Note that bone china is the closest equivalent to china.

Porcelain manufactures porcelain process. While the Chinese process begins with a high bisque fire, the porcelain process begins with a low bisque fire. The dish is easy to graze because it is porous after bisque firing. No heating required. The final gloss fire is a high temperature fire, unlike the low temperature gloss fire in the Chinese process. In the porcelain process, the body and glaze are aged together. It adds strength.

Because of the higher temperatures required for porcelain decoration, the result is not always as desirable as fine porcelain (often the best decorations) and bone china.

Parian China and Frit Porcelain

Low temperature porcelains are made are very attractive. They are less popular with American brides than bone china, china and fine china.

Appreciation of china or porcelain

I don’t want to bother you with more technical details. Let me just list a few things to consider regarding your Chinese desirable and life.

Leg and back

When ceramic engineers go out to dinner, the first thing they do is turn over the plate. Why? First, they can see who made it. Some fine restaurants use fine china (including bone china). Most others use hotel china, an American invention designed specifically for restaurant service. What works for restaurants probably won’t work for your china cabinet.

Looking at the leg, and I suggest you look at the leg first to see if it’s glazed. If it is unglazed, rub your finger carefully and slowly around the leg. Watch for sharp glaze projections as you do this. I don’t want you to cut your pretty finger.

Is your foot rough?

If it is rough, it should be polished with a polishing stone until it is smooth. An unglazed foot requires that you keep napkins between the plates in your china cabinet to prevent the foot from rubbing the glaze on other plates. You must be careful when washing dishes and removing plates from the table. You don’t want scratches on your icing do you?

Most fine china and bone china have an unglazed foot. The leg is factory polished before you get it, but be sure to inspect each piece.

Once the foot is glazed, look for pin marks on the underside of the glaze. You can’t shoot yourself in the foot with this kind of dish, because it will stick to the oven setting. Pin marks may be barely noticeable. Some manufacturers place dishes on tiny ceramic balls rather than pins. The marks are barely noticeable. If there are any pin marks, make sure they are polished to remove any rough edges.

Look at the manufacturer’s mark on the bottom of the plate. Is it in the middle? Can you read it easily? Does it have a pattern name? Now decide if you care about such features. Take one last look at the back of the record. Are there any flaws in the glaze? Does the glaze application look uniform on the back of the board? Are there any holes, inclusions or stains? Are there rough spots?

Front side of the disc

Turn the plate over and rub around the edge with your finger. Is it smooth as silk or is it rough? Are there any thin spots? Look for holes or inclusions in the surface of the glaze. Keep in mind that different manufacturers have different inspection standards. A very small recess can be considered acceptable. One manufacturer may have a standard that says there are no holes on the back of the board except for a small one.

Most manufacturers of fine and bone china use lead glazes. The reason is the shine of the glaze. Is lead a health problem? Normally not. Most people only use their porcelain nine (9) times a year. Giving your child a fine china cup of orange juice every day can be a problem. Don’t do it.

So, is the glaze brilliant and flawless?


Although manufacturers have reduced the number of decorative burns by combining functions, three decorative burns have traditionally been used. The first decorative burn is called the “sticker fire” and is when the stickers are placed according to the design. Stickers are screen printed or lithographed. The color of silk-screened stickers is thicker and often more intense than that of lithographic stickers.

The enamel or heavy paint is next placed in the “enamel fire.” Nowadays, enamel can be placed on top of a decal and combined into one burn.

The last burning is the “burning of precious metals” or “tongues”. Gold or platinum is applied to the rim and certain design areas. It is also sometimes applied to the sticker and misses all but one shot.

Here are some decorating considerations. Are the garnishes placed correctly on the plate? Rub your finger over them. Are they sitting on top of the glaze or are they buried deep in it? The stickers should sink into the glaze so they don’t wear off. They should not sink to the point where they are no longer attractive. Hard gold is gold that does not polish, that has sunk too deeply into the glaze. Soft gold is gold that sits on top of the glaze and is easily rubbed off. Look for soft gold on the porcelain. The glaze is very hard and it is difficult for ornaments and precious metal to sink into the glaze. (“Hard” in this sense means not very melting during decoupling.)

Fine China service issues

Fine china faces your cutlery, dishwasher and storage space.

Yes, china can be damaged in your china cabinet when the foot of one plate rubs against the surface of another plate, which scratches the glaze. If it’s scratched, it’s scratched. Glaze hardness is highest in high temperature porcelain and lowest in low luster fine porcelain. Bone china is in between. Bone china is a good choice for beauty and durability.

The marking of the knife is the worst of the implements. The marks may actually be incisions in the glaze and cannot be removed. They can also be rubbed into metal from utensils, which can often be removed with SoftScrub®. At this point, I recommend that you do not use super hard steak knives when servicing fine china.

Cups and other shapes

Look at the handles of the cups. I said “cups” not “cup”. You need to look at several to determine quality.

If the handle of the cup is molded together with the cup by slip casting, it should look perfect.

If the handle of the cup is stuck to the cup after forming the main part of the cup, it may not be perfect. Stuck handles sometimes fall off during maintenance. It’s a manufacturer’s nightmare.

The problem is that the plastic molded handle does not “fit” well (while shrinking) to the plastic molded cup.

There aren’t as many problems with molded handles placed on a plastic molded cup. (The problem is technical and I won’t explain it here. Email me if you really want to know.)

Look at the joint where the handle meets the cup. Does it look neat and clean? Is there excess glaze build-up where they join? You don’t want something ugly do you?

Check the bowls and see if they are stacked. If they don’t stack, I have a suggestion: Run! (Well, if you can tolerate the bowls not stacking and just love the design, buy them.)

Handles of teapots should be checked as with cups. Check the knobs on the lids of the teapots and tins. Do you think they will stay on the job? Are they applied attractively?


Read the warranty carefully. (Well, have someone read it.) Ask how long your pattern is guaranteed to be replaced. If you don’t have to, you don’t have to go to Replacements Inc. (http://www.replacements.com/index.htm?s1=kx&896&).

Yes, you can email me with questions.

Oh! Congratulations!

The end

Bride, China, how to choose china, bone china, porcelain, china care, china defects, fine china, parian, fritporcelain, processing, storage

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