Happy Tablescape Thursday!
Today's post is by guest Julie Shuford
Fine china! It is a world like no other, filled with endless possibilities. Anyone who has gone through the buying and decision making process, is well aware of the various considerations and options there are when deciding which pattern and type of fine china is right for you. While we are sure you have a style of your own, and one that speaks volumes when entertaining and decorating with your serve ware and dishes, we hope this article leaves you with an even greater understanding and appreciation of those dazzling plates you selected. For those of you in the fine china market, we believe you will benefit just as much, or even more from this piece. Please join us in taking a closer look at the various types of fine china, and how to select the right fine china for you! Believe it or not, it can, and should be, easy and fun!
Let's get started with a brief tutorial. There are four primary types of dinnerware. You are probably well aware of the most common material our lovely fine china is typically made of, porcelain. Porcelain, which can also be referred to as bone china, is the highest quality of ceramic dinnerware. Since the clay is so hard, it can be thinned out to make the higher end fine china settings. A few personal favorites include manufacturers Bernardaud, Mottahedeh and Herend.
Mottahedeh's Blue Lace and Imperial Blue (A-MA-ZING!!)
Another type of formal china material, and quite an amazing one, is unrefined earthenware. While it has never been "out of style", it is has been trending up with new bridal registries, with brands such as Vietri, Gien, and Arte Italica- to name a few. China made of unrefined earthen ware is fired at a low temperature and requires a glaze to seal it, making it impermeable. This often leaves the china with a patina-like finish- usually most noticeable on the bottom of the plate. The patina tends to add a bit of character and uniqueness to each piece.
Below is a picture of Vietri's Incanto, which is a beautiful example of unrefined earthenware.
Refined earthenware has been around for a very long time, dating all the way back to the late 1700s. And while it lends itself to the look of fine china, it is comparatively less expensive than porcelain and unrefined earthenware. Because of the lower cost, many people use it as their everyday dinnerware.
Pictured below is Spode's Woodland dinnerware - a classic example of refined earthenware.
Just like Juliska, another aesthetically pleasing, yet functional pattern of choice is Casa Fina. Both are machine washable and again, elegant enough to use for formal occasions, yet simple enough for everyday use.
Here is a stoneware example, Juliska's Berry & Thread Pattern:
For more beautiful table settings, please Between Naps On The Porch.
About the Author
Julie Shuford is the Marketing Manager for Bering's Hardware in Houston, TX. Julie is a girl's girl who loves a good sale, a long run, and time with her husband and new baby boy. Bering's Hardware is a unique retail store that provides everything from hardware to fine china and housekeeping products to grilling products.