The Ultimate Bone China Quiz

By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

Ever wonder why your grandmother prizes her bone china collection and won't let anyone under 50 use it? Bone china is expensive, because it takes a huge amount of time and many steps to produce, some of them only by hand! Nevertheless, bone china is actually sturdier than anyone realizes. Take our quiz to find out why grandma should at least let you wash the dishes.

To which category of tableware does bone china belong?

Bone china is the strongest and most translucent type of porcelain.


What makes bone china so strong?

At the end of the 18th century, Josiah Spode developed a new method for making stronger porcelain, which involved the addition of calcined bone ash into the clay mixture.


How many main processes are there in making bone china?

There are four main processes: clay making, mold making, glazing and decorating.


What are the main ingredients that go into the final mix used to make bone china?

There are five main ingredients that go into the final mix: china clay, regular clay, bone clay, flint and feldspar.


Which color china does the Lenox factory produce most?

Eighty percent of china produced in the Lenox factory is white, 20 percent is ivory.


Both the white and ivory clay mixtures are the color gray. How does the Lenox factory know which is which?

They add green vegetable dye to the ivory mix. The dye burns off when the porcelain is in the kiln.


When making bone china, after the final mix is prepared it is pumped into a filter press. What does the filter press do to it?

The filter press removes air and water from the mix, leaving it with a moisture content of 20 percent.


When making bone china, the final mix is put through an extruder. What does an extruder do to it?

An extruder presses the sheets of clay into tubes, called pugs, and takes out more air.


About how much does a clay plug weigh?

Each pugs weighs about 30 pounds (13.6 kg) and looks like a giant piece of chalk.


When making bone china, the pugs of clay are stacked into pyramids. Why are the pug pyramids then covered with plastic wrap?

The pug pyramids are covered in plastic wrap on all sides to form a protective tent that maintains the correct humidity level.


Metal master molds are used in the production of bone china. Why are the molds sprayed with a soapy mixture?

The metal master molds are sprayed with a soapy mixture, the residue of which helps release the molds later on in the process.


At the molding stage in bone china production, how many people does it take to fill a metal mold with plaster?

It takes two people: one to pour the plaster into the mold and the other to spin the mold so that the plaster distributes evenly.


When producing bone china, plaster molds are made from metal molds. Why can't just the metal molds be used?

Though it would seem to make sense to use metal molds and save the step of making plaster molds from them, plaster molds draw out more moisture from the clay, which metal molds can't do.


How many times can some plaster molds be used?

Dinner plate molds can be used 100 times, while molds for more intricate items, such as cups, serving dishes and cream holders, can be used 10-15 times.


What does a greenware plate refer to?

Greenware refers to clay pieces that have not yet been fired in the kiln.


When producing bone china, how are handles attached to cups?

Handles are affixed to china cups by hand. Part of the finishing process, before they are put in the kiln, involves checking that the handles are securely attached.


To harden a raw clay plate into bone china, it is put through a bisque kiln. How hot does the kiln get?

The bisque kiln, powered by gas, reaches 2,290 degrees Fahrenheit (1,254 degrees Celsius). Pieces are fired for nine hours.


What is a vibratory finish?

It is a bath of smooth stones and water, which smoothes and polishes the china after it comes out of the kiln.


What can a glazed piece of china be decorated with?

A glazed piece of china can be decorated with enamels, decals or precious metals. Some designs or aspects of the design must be done by hand, while others can be done by machine.


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