Fine ceramics have become common household items for a long time. Earthenware things are more accessible for mass consumption. White cups and plates with colorful patterns on the glazed surface are inexpensive and are used daily as tableware. Elite porcelain sets are made using a complicated technology, therefore they are more expensive and usually serve as a decoration for a festive table or become an element of the interior. If you decide to spend money on real porcelain, it is important to distinguish it from cheap earthenware.
- - earthenware for comparison;
- - a source of bright light;
- - strong hot tea.
Hold the ceramic object near a bright light source and examine carefully. Due to the multitude of impurities (quartz, kaolin and others), porcelain is translucent in nature - a thin ceramic layer should be transparent. On the contrary, earthenware dishes never let light through.
Turn the product over and run your hand along the bottom surface. Typically, the base of real china is rough. The edge of the rim of a cup or plate made of this material is usually not glazed. Earthenware is smooth on all sides - its pores need additional processing; glazing tableware prevents moisture and dirt from entering. High-quality porcelain may not have any glaze at all, since it is a more durable and solid material than earthenware.
Test the quality of the porcelain by tapping a new ceramic piece with your fingers - it should play on high notes. Earthenware dishes will not emit such melodious sounds. Among connoisseurs, there is even a term "singing porcelain"; moreover, different products from this high-quality ceramics can "sing" each in its own way.
You can also distinguish porcelain by its weight. Raise the crockery in the palm of your hand. It is advisable to weigh the earthenware product on the other hand (if you are sure that it is from this material). Porcelain dishes are lighter - with the same volume as a earthenware vessel, they will have more refined shapes and thick walls.
Finally, pour freshly brewed tea into a ceramic mug (if you have already purchased). You will immediately understand that the dishes are made of simple earthenware, if the drink in it is scalding, and the handle practically does not heat up. Unlike “regular” porcelain, this type of fine ceramic has a low thermal conductivity. With prolonged use of the tea set, you may see a dark bloom from the tea leaves on the inner walls. This means that this is not real porcelain - its surface, well "baked" in the oven, will not darken so much.