Ceramic Process

CERAMIC PRODUCTION
Basically speaking, the production of ceramics consists of three physical elements.
​BODY • GLAZING • DECORATION

1. THE BODY

Mixing of sand and clay

2. FORMING

Forming the shapes of each individual item

Hand • Casting • Stamping • Jiggering

3. USING MACHINES

 

  • Jiggering machine (roller) - makes mugs, dinner plates and bowls

  • Machine pressed - most efficient method to produce oversized platters. Our turkey platters, for example, are made from machine pressed

  • Casting - liquid clay is poured into a mold and then allowed to set. This process duplicates the shape of the mold. Teapots, cookie jars and any other three-dimensional products are casting items. Slower production, therefore, more costly to create.

 

Sample Mold

- Sculpting the shape with soft clay

- A plaster mold is made from the sculpture

- This process takes five to seven days

- Once sample mold is approved, then a production mold must be made

Production Mold

- Duplicating the plaster mold, make as many molds as necessary,
depending on size of order

- Each mold is usually good for 60 to 80 turns before making new production mold

Forming

4. FIRST FIRING

Product is placed through first oven

  • Temperature is set at 175 degrees F

  • Purpose is to remove the excess water content from the formed item and harden the formed shapes

5. GLAZING PROCESS

The glaze is a smooth and hard shell that is applied to the outer surface of the body. The components are of a variety of additives specialized by each individual country, region and factory where the product is made.

The end result being:

Smoothness • Strength • Color • Shine

6. BISQUIT KILN

At this stage each item is solid and hard. Temperature varies for each item:

1,500° F - Porcelain

1,500° F - Stoneware

1,800° F - Earthenware

Bisquit Kiln

7. DECORATION APPLICATION

Decal is a design technique similar to a paper rub-on. Tiny dot screenprints of different color designs are mechanically transferred onto a transparent surface. This layer is then lightly glued onto a paper-like base. At the time of production, the upper transparent layer is removed by water and then hand-positioned on the ceramic's body. Next, the decal layer is placed through a heated oven and baked onto the body of the ceramic, creating a solid surface.

 

Most decal decorations are overglazed. If a final glazing follows the decal application, it is called underglazed. This type is usually more expensive because of the extra step. If you rub your fingers on the surface of an underglazed product, you cannot feel the decal bumps typical in overglaze.

Handpainted

Handpainted designs are today's most popular decorations for dinnerware. In this case, skilled workers use paintbrushes or sponges to apply a series of colors on the surface before glazing. This process is naturally more time-consuming and may be more costly, but the end result is a beautiful, unique item, different from anyone else's.

 

Stamped

Stamped decoration is yet another way to create a special design on a product. A ready stamp is dipped in paint and then applied either by hand or machine to the product. Some factories have been able to skillfully utilize a combination of the above methods to better suit economic and aesthetic needs.

Handpainted

8. GLOST KILN

At this stage each item is solid and hard. Temperature varies for each item:

2,350°-2,350° F - Porcelain

2,250°-2,350° F - Stoneware

1,800°-1,900° F - Earthenware

 

9. QUALITY CONTROL

The product should be inspected against the following during all production stages:

Smoothness/Finish

Warpage

Breakage

Chipping

 

10. PACKING

Depending on the complexity of the specific manufacturer, the product is inspected against:

Smoothness/Finish

Warpage

Breakage

Chipping

Packing