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Faience or Porcelain

Faience or Porcelain
28 March, 2024

Very famous in Italy and Portugal, faience is a similar type of ceramic and belongs to the porcelain family, as it is produced with less kaolin than porcelain but is older and more traditional than porcelain, as well as being more resistant.

Faience has porous masses of white or ivory color and requires subsequent glazing. They are used to create decorative pieces, dinner sets, tea sets, etc.

Porcelain is a variety of delicate ceramics made from raw materials with a high degree of purity (such as high-quality white clay, quartz, kaolin and feldspar). It receives two burns: the first at 850° C and the second, above 1300° C, which gives its white color.

Faiance does not require such high temperatures for its manufacture, varying between 1050° and 1150°C degrees.

Both porcelain and faience are made following the same processing steps, with modifications to the raw materials and clauses applied.

Faience more often shows cracks in the enamel surface due to aging, while porcelain is less affected over time. However, sometimes some cracks are deliberately made in the faience for decorative purposes, without this affecting the performance of the piece.

One of the main advantages of Faience, due to its porosity, is the wide possibility of decorating the pieces with freehand, which can be painted or metallic, with a variety of textures and vibrant colors.

Porcelain decoration is rarely done using freehand painting, which is due to its lack of porosity, which is why pewter (hollow mold), simulation application, transfer and use of fillets (or listel) are most often used.

Tips for distinguishing porcelain from faience:

  • Faience is usually glazed except for the base, while porcelain is glazed throughout.
  • Porcelain is translucent and allows light to pass through, while Faience is opaque.
  • Porcelain has a bell touch, while faience does not.

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