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DESIGN

The original model of a gravy boat; a plaster model made by a craftsman. Purity and functionality are determining factors.

Quality is a priority in the design of all DIBBERN products. The principle established by Bauhaus – that form and function are one – remains the governing rule for all aspects of our design. Tableware is the stage on which food is presented. As such, DIBBERN believes in understated design. Our products hold a traditional and classic beauty; timeless designs which avoid the short-lived nature of ‘trendy’ products. The design of DIBBERN Fine Bone China thereby reflects a superior quality that combines tradition with modernity – a philosophy and distinguished quality of which has earned DIBBERN several awards.

CASTING

The casting of the china body is a fine art, which requires the use of sophisticated tools.

For the production of hollowware – such as teapots, tureens, or gravy boats – liquid china clay, or slip, is poured into custom-made plaster moulds. In this slip-casting process, the plaster draws the moisture away from the china slip, thereby forming the china body, or greenware, which is used for subsequent stages of the process. The plaster moulds are created by an in-house model-building department. Since the forms wear away during production, and potential damage to the surface of the china body could occur after repeated use, each form is only used about thirty times before it is replaced with a new plaster mould.

FETTLING

The greenware china resembles a rough diamond. It is smoothed, fettled and perfectly formed by hand.

Each piece of Fine Bone China greenware is processed manually after drying. Rough areas are smoothed with a damp sponge or a special cloth; slight burrs formed during casting are removed with a trimming knife. Here, the barely visible casting seams of a milk pitcher are trimmed and the uneven surfaces then smoothed. Though each pitcher is worked on individually, each piece must have a perfectly uniform appearance after processing is completed.

SPINNING

Plates and bowls of Fine Bone China are produced by cutting slices of clay from a large cylindrically-shaped china mass for further processing.

In the industrial mass production of porcelain, plates and bowls are isostatically pressed. At DIBBERN, they are handcrafted on the wheel using a traditional method which produces a material of particularly high density. The resistance to breakage is thereby much greater than that of pressed porcelain. This method ensures that even the most lightweight and fragile of products, such as thin-walled plates, can achieve maximum stability and, in turn, guarantees high serviceability.

HAND APPLICATION

Even handles are produced and processed by hand before they are affixed to the cup. Each individual handle is ‘garnished’ to its cup by hand.

In order to achieve maximum durability, cups are handcrafted using the traditional ‘jollying’ method. Fixing the handle to the body of the cup requires great precision; ensuring a permanent hold is paramount. This process is done by hand, taking great care to ensure the degree of moisture set between the cup and the handle corresponds exactly. Or else, cracking may occur during the firing procedure.

GLAZING

Fine Bone China is passed through fire to achieve a radiant lustre. Drying the glaze over open flames helps bring out a glossy sheen.

After 44 hours in a kiln at a heat of 1250 °C, it is no surprise that the initial firing process – the bisque firing – causes greenware china to shrink by about 14 per cent of its original size. At this point, a pink-hued glaze, which is entirely free of lead and cadmium, is applied by way of a light, misty spray. It is then dried at a moderate temperature before undergoing a second firing – the glaze firing – after which the surface melts into a smooth and

FIRING

During the firing process, each piece must be placed in a special ‘setter’.

Glaze firing takes place at a heat of 1150 °C for a period of 42 hours. Meticulous preparation before the firing process, as well as extensive time in the kiln, ensures that no defects can develop during this process. It also guarantees that the china and the glaze bond together completely – with no gaps – to form a food-safe glass layer of maximum resilience.

DECORATING

DIBBERN Fine Bone China upholds the highest standard of decoration. Designs are applied by hand using traditional techniques.

When it comes to tableware design, the finely-drawn, hand-painted platinum line is a classic and understated decoration. Less than onemillimetre thick, this neat and simple design is one which beautifully complements and underscores the translucent elegance of Fine Bone China. The lower temperatures used in decoration firing enable the application of a wider colour palette, as well as an enhanced colour brilliance which far exceeds that of conventional porcelain. A superior sheen is achieved through the use of 24 carat gold, which is meticulously applied via a series of powdered gold layers, which ensures the final product is dishwasher-safe.

An in-house design atelier works on the DIBBERN décor schemes. Working alongside a select group of artists, the group works closely and collaboratively to create new patterns and designs. Naturally, only those of the very highest quality are selected.