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Explore the craftmanship behind Royal Crown Derby.

Today is Buy British Day, a day where we celebrate British made products and the quality craftmanship behind them. Royal Crown Derby prides itself on being one of last remaining fine bone china makers that are still 100% made in England. Using artisanal techniques unchanged for centuries to bring the quality and style synonymous with luxury giftware and tableware.  

So, what better way to celebrate British made products than to explore the Osmaston Road factory in Derby, England and explore how each of Royal Crown Derby’s products are handcrafted.

From modelling to gilding, each stage of the production lifecycle from conception to completion takes on one site. Using traditional processes unchanged for over 260 years, ensuring the highest quality for each fine bone china piece Royal Crown Derby is renowned for.

Modelling takes place in-house with specialists creating new shapes by hand to bring exciting new lines to the existing tableware and giftware collections. Design studio create new surface designs, with design ideas and colours inspired by the latest trends, the designer hand draws the surface design onto a shape initially and then recreates this design digitally ready for colour trials. 

Behind the Craftsmanship - Royal Crown Derby

The porcelain is mixed ready for casting using a special mix of bone ash, stone and clay to create the perfect balance of translucency and strength fine bone china is known for. Royal Crown Derby use only the finest ingredients locally sourced where possible such as the clay; which is sourced from the South Coast in Enlgand.

Each piece is then cast and modeled using a range of hand crafted techniques depending on what shape is needed to be created for the finished piece. The items are then left to dry which creates a ‘biscuit’ piece which is then fettled. Fetteling is a process required to remove any rough edges by hand from the still delicate biscuit piece ready for the first firing. 

 

Behind the Craftsmanship - Royal Crown Derby

 

During the first firing, the biscuit piece will harden and shrink by 12% of its original size, creating the durability and strength the finished bone china pieces will have.

After the first firing the items are now ready to be glazed, the glaze is a mixture of glass, water and a special pink dye which is sprayed onto the fine bone china, the pink dye ensures that the paperweight is fully covered with glaze during this process. The items are fired once again. During this firing, the glaze hardens and becomes translucent leaving no trace of the dye. This is then known as a glost piece. 

Behind the Craftsmanship - Royal Crown Derby

Final surface designs are produced and printed onsite known as a lithograph. This is then hand applied to the glost pieces, before it is fired again during which the lithograph sinks into the glaze adding the wonderful surface pattern to the fine bone china items. Sometimes the lithograph is applied multiple times to add several different colours to the single piece.

Some of Royal Crown Derby’s prestigious giftware pieces are decorated by painting the design by hand. The hand painters painstakingly add finite detail to the hand painted items several times creating layers of colour which is fired each time to bring the stunning items to life. 

 

Behind the Craftsmanship - Royal Crown Derby

 

Precious metals of 22 carat gold or platinum can then be added onto the fine bone china in a process called gilding. The metal is hand applied to each piece with intricate precision ensuring each item is identical. The items are then fired for the last time before going to be burnished where each piece is buffed to bring out the shine of the platinum or 22 carat gold detailing.

Stringent quality checks are adhered to at every stage of the process through the factory to make sure each piece is produced to the highest quality before being carefully packed for global distribution.

 You can see this wonderful display of craftmanship by our artisans by booking a factory tour at Royal Crown’s Factory in Derby, where you will be taken through each step of the magnificent journey each piece of handmade fine bone china takes to create the stunning collections of tableware and giftware offered today. For more information about visiting Royal Crown Derby’s Visitors Centre please click here.

Royal Crown Derby have a beautiful collection of tableware and giftware perfect for any taste, take a look at the full range by clicking here.

Don’t forget you can get 10% off your first order by using the code NEWUSER10.

Posted by Charlotte Mee on 12/10/2017 09:37