Bodo Sperlein

Craft Story: Fine Bone China

StudioBodo Sperlein

Bodo Sperlein has long been an advocate of Bone China, our collections bring a contemporary narrative to a quintessentially British material. From our signature White Sculptural collection handmade to in Stoke-on-Trent to our playful Nikko ranges, our tableware demonstrates the boundless possibilities of Bone China. 

Traditionally Bone China is celebrated for its suitability for decoration. The translucency of its white body allows for a true representation of colour, whether applied through an enamel, glaze or underglaze.

 
 

The clarity and intensity of colour that Bone China offers is demonstrated in a number of our own collections, notably our Cloud and Macaroon collections.


The formula of Bone China as we traditionally understand it was developed by Josiah Spode in 1796.

Recognised as a new variety of porcelain, Bone China is fired from 1200 degrees (c) to as high as 1300 degrees (c). It is this high-firing that demonstrates the strength and durability of this versatile material. 

Known for its speedy casting time, it is little surprise that Bone China became the leading body for English manufacturers. As England gained global recognition as the only country to manufacture this unique form of porcelain, its popularity grew internationally.

Proclaimed for its luxurious qualities, Bone China has long been acknowledged as a superior material for tableware and its global popularity remains.

Bone China, or Fine China as it is more commonly known as nowadays, due to the replacement of bone ash with the mixture of a calcium phosphate and calcium oxide, is recognised for its delicate properties and notably for its historical reputation for tea drinking.

It is the historical narrative of this distinguished material that appealed to Bodo himself when he first established his design studio.

From turn of the century Japanese brand Nikko to European manufacturers such as Dibbern, its unique qualities remain to be a popular choice for chefs, restaurateurs and everyday home dining.

Bone China’s versatile characteristics are also utilised in more experimental firing methods such as Raku as well as being revered by a number of ceramic installation artists.

As Bone China is less plastic than a lot of ceramic bodies, great care has to be taken when it is hand modelled or cast at its malleable greenware stage, and in its leather hard (dried but before its first firing) state. An extremely even heat distribution is required during its bisque (first) firing, if the kiln temperature goes slightly over than the pieces can deform. 

To prevent further movement in the kiln, each individual piece has supports. The beautiful bone china products that have been made over the centuries to date are testament to the meticulous craftsmanship skills and attention to detail of those who work with this material. 

Its translucency is distinctly accentuated in our Nikko Blossom lighting, for more information about this product please contact us directly. 


Credits:

Micheal Donath