What is Staffordshire pottery called?

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Franz Heinrich first worked as a porcelain painter. In 1896 he built a crucible in his parents’ house in Selb. Initially, he bought porcelain from local factories and decorated it himself. From 1901 he began to produce porcelain himself, and under his leadership, the Porzellanfabrik Heinrich Selb became one of the most important manufacturers in Germany. During the heyday, almost half of the German porcelain production came from the Hutschenreuther, Rosenthal and Heinrich factories.

Around 1930 his company had 500 employees, by the early 1970s more than 800.After World War II, Heinrich was the first porcelain producer in West Germany to resume production. He sold his company to the English Slater Walker Group and later in 1974, the English Bowater Group took over the company.

For the factory in Vohenstrauß the merger was only a short relief because on October 27, 1995, the SKV-Porzellan-Union G.m.b.H. declared the plant closed for economic reasons. While the remaining part of SKV was able to continue, other manufacturers were also forced to regroup and the factory and trademark ‘Arzberg’ belonging to Hutschenreuther AG (Selb) was sold to Winterling AG (Kirchenlamitz) in 1997. The entire Winterling group fell into financial difficulties and SKV-Porzellan-Union GmbH made an offer to take over the Arzberg brand and assets which was accepted in August 2000. This resulted in a group name change to SKV-Arzberg-Porzellan GmbH, with its head office in Arzberg; three months later the entire Winterling group had to declare bankruptcy in November 2000. The Porzellanfabrik Arzberg had been saved by the S.K.V.; ironically, the amount of money spent on that deal was exactly the same as the S.K.V. had saved by closing the factory in Vohenstrauß.

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Ceramics is a discipline with a wide range of experimentation. And decoration, in particular, offers often surprising results. We are talking about Mocha, a technique that takes advantage of the chemical reaction between components to generate spontaneous drawings on the pieces.

The name Mocha comes from the port of Mocha, on the Red Sea, now in Yemen, a city associated in England with the export of dendritic agate or moss (Mocha stone). The technique dates back to the 1780s, and was invented in Staffordshire in the UK. The earliest written reference comes from the Lakin & Poole factory in Staffordshire, and mentions “mocoe cups” in 1792-1796. A cup dated 1799 is in the Christchurch Mansion Museum, Ipswich, England. It became very popular during the 19th century and soon moved to the USA and Canada.

The Mocha technique consists of the reaction between an acid component and an alkaline component, the engobe. For this, tobacco and water are mixed (although vinegar, lemon juice or wine can also be used), and a metallic oxide. The result is an organic crystallization, as if they were roots or plants, which resembles the natural effect of the dendritic pyrolusite stone.

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This industry was born back in the 17th century as the area is rich in coal and clay and later, when the canal was opened to bring better clay from Cornwall, the industry grew and expanded.

While other corners of the world also specialized in porcelain manufacture, Stoke-on-Trent is renowned for its quality and the painstaking research and experimentation that went into its factories. Firms such as Wedgwood, for example, brought porcelain to its maximum splendor and allowed the birth of true artists in this field.

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A good way to tour the town and enjoy it is by bicycle. There are about 150 km of cycling routes in the town, paths along the canals, remote trails and country roads. You can also go for a walk in the city parks, along the canals or go hiking in the Peak District.

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In Europe, the production of stoneware began in the 12th century in Germany, in the Rhine region [6]. It was not until the 14th century that it began to spread to other countries. Special success in the glazes was achieved by developing salt glazes, to make them more impermeable. In England it was deeply rooted and from the 17th century an autonomous industry developed in Staffordshire. Famous potters in this center were John Dwight, Ellers and Wedgwood.

The minerals that we find in a stoneware paste once fired at its temperature are: semi-fused feldspar, mullite and quartz, and in porcelain only mullite is detected in a vitreous mass.[8] It is a compact material, with reduced clay content.

It is a compact material, with reduced water absorption and can be colored or glazed. It is highly resistant to abrasion and has high dimensional stability. Glazed stoneware is very impermeable and resistant to chemical attack, thanks to its vitrified finish.

The resulting suspension, called barbotine, contains between 25 and 30% water. This paste is dried by atomization: a process by which the material is sprayed in the presence of hot air, until the amount of water in the mixture is reduced to about 5%.[11] This process is called spray drying.

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