If you are very interested in the different kinds of artwork around the world, or may be you are very fascinated by the different kinds of unique ornaments, you should have heard of the porcelain masks. These are masks which are made from porcelain, one of the materials invented very long time ago in China. These unique masks are mostly bought for their different shapes and fine arts. They are either kept as collection or display as ornaments in homes and offices.
When we talk about porcelain masks, we cannot miss talking about porcelain. Porcelain originated long time ago from China. A country with very long history of great civilization, the Chinese has invented many kinds of materials and one of these great materials which lasted till today is the porcelain. It was during the Shang dynasty marvelous material is first invented and has undergone a few dynasties. What is amazing is it is one of the important materials widely used around the world.
If you search thought the online on these masks, you can definitely see many different kinds of masks, manifesting in different themes and expressions. There are the theatre masks; the pair happy and sad porcelain theatre masks which are very popular among the collectors.
There are also those which are especially designed for wall decoration. These porcelain masks are normally painted with very colorful artwork and for easy hanging purpose; they have two silk ties on them. The colored feather porcelain masks are another wall hanging art sculptures. With its beautiful hand painted porcelain and feathers, this hanging mask looks just great on your wall. With very detailed painting on the face by hand, this piece of art can cost up to $45. However, with its beauty, the price you are paying is worth the value.
There are people who prefer to leave their wall in the house bare while there are those who prefer to over decorate their walls. Both preferences are not wrong but by adding some beauty on your wall can add beauty to your life. Bare walls can be boring and create a feeling of nothingness while overcrowded wall can be overwhelming and create a feeling of confinement. So why not consider bring the beauty of art on your wall and create the kind of wonderful feelings in you? Not only will these porcelain masks provide you with a beautiful and artistic sight, they also allow your entire family, guests and friends to have the privilege to enjoy the arts.
If you do not have the expertise or knowledge in decorating your walls, the ultimate result can turn out very disappointing. The styles, unmatched items and distance between each ornament, to name but a few can make your wall unsightly. Porcelain masks are perfect choice when it comes to decorating your wall as can go with almost all kinds of decor. What more, you can purchase them online very easily. With its sense of artistic, beauty and mysterious, these masks will make you wall look elegant, neat and beautiful.
Putting Patterns on Porcelain
Today there are many options for putting colorful patterns onto porcelain china. Some, like decoupage, waterslide decals and air-dry paints like Delta Air-Dry PermEnamel are within the reach of any home crafter. Others, like dye sublimation printing, transfer printing and hand-glazing high-fired pottery require substantial investment in equipment and are best suited to well-capitalized businesses and artists’ cooperatives.
The two classic ways of putting patterns onto porcelain, hand-painting and transfer printing, still exist today. In addition, there is a high-tech version of waterslide decals used commercially which consists of screen-printing decals with glazes and applying the decals to the porcelain. In each case, the pottery is high-fired before decorating to at least cone 6. [Cone is a measure of heat absorption resulting from heat applied over time. Cone 6 translates to between 2165 and 2269 degrees F (depending on how fast the kiln heats – or ramps – up).] Such high-firing produces the hard almost-translucent quality of genuine porcelain. Then the piece is decorated and lightly fired repeatedly to melt and fuse the glazes to the porcelain.
Incidentally, the term “porcelain” has been applied more and more broadly as new techniques developed. Ask any potter to define “porcelain” and he will likely give you the classic definition. To a potter, genuine porcelain is high-fired (cone 6 or higher) white clay that is at least somewhat translucent. It has a large proportion of kaolin clay, with the remainder being primarily feldspar and silica. This clay composition accounts for the pure white gleam of porcelain.
Artisans who paint porcelain (rather than actually make it) refer to three grades of porcelain: hard-paste, soft-paste, and bone china. They all contain kaolin but only hard-paste has feldspar and silica and is high-fired. The high temperatures cause the body and the glaze to fuse. When hard-paste porcelain is broken, it is impossible to distinguish the body from the glaze.
Soft-paste porcelain adds ground glass or frit (material for glass that is not yet fused and vitrified) and is fired to between cone 01 and 1 (1999 to 2109 degrees F). Because soft-paste porcelain is fired at lower temperatures, it does not completely vitrify and remains slightly porous. When soft-paste porcelain is broken, you can distinguish a grainy body covered with a glassy layer of glaze.
Bone china has bone ash added to the kaolin and vitrifies (becomes glass-like) somewhere between cone 2 and cone 5 (2034 to 2205 F). Though not as hard as true porcelain, bone china is more durable than soft-paste porcelain. The bone ash greatly increases the translucence of the porcelain.
Finally, go to a tile store and look at their “porcelain” tiles. If you turn them over, you will see base clay ranging from white to brown to gray. The definition of “porcelain” in the tile industry has nothing to do with the clay content or level of firing. Rather, tile manufacturers define as “porcelain” any tile fired to the point where it absorbs less than 3% moisture.
Captivating Chinese Porcelain For the Asian Home
Chinese porcelain is very beautiful. It is also something to be coveted when it comes to decoration of the contemporary Asian home. To create authentic, high quality porcelain requires great skill and serious training. This fact is true today in China as it is anywhere else in the world. Of course, this might appear to be a strange statement to some today. Many products in stores come with the label “Made in China.” The average person from the West assumes the product they have picked up was produced in mass cheaply overseas before being sold on the international market. However, when it comes to genuine, hand-crafted porcelain the Chinese workshop is an amazing place. The time, care, and skill put into production is something that would surprise most people.
The porcelain producing city of Jingdezhen is located in Jiangxi province in Southeast China. Two noteworthy workshops in this city turn out high quality reproduction wares for sale every year. The first place is the Jiayang Porcelain Company. This company specializes in making copies of Yuan (1271-1368), Ming (1368-1644), and Qing dynasty (1644-1911) blue and white wares. The second place is the Jiangyao Porcelain Company. This business creates over-glazed enamel decorated porcelain in popular Ming and Qing dynasty styles. Each of these fine companies uses traditional techniques in the pursuit of superior results.
A look at the Jiayang Porcelain Company reveals very interesting facts. The company chairman and researcher, Hung Yun Peng, personally formulates and mixes the cobalt pigments. He carefully matches them to established historical examples. The hectic workshop area is adjacent to a finely arranged showroom. The showroom is replete with a small museum which contains sherds gathered from local kiln sites. The workshop itself is built on two levels. On the ground floor the potters sit while throwing and/or trimming at high wheels mounted on platforms. Noise and flying clay permeate the atmosphere among hundreds of pots at every phase of production. The pots are piled around the space of the workshop area.
The actual potters are usually younger men in their teens. Sometimes they are in their twenties too. Upstairs other young men and women sit at work benches while they carefully paint blank porcelain forms. There is no question that many of the designs getting painted are copied from publications and magazines of Chinese ceramics. It should be remembered that these artists first apply stencil lines to the forms. This is done to prevent painting completely by freehand. The stencil instrument leave a faint colored line for the painter to follow. However, later on the stencil line vanishes in the furnace of the firing process.
The Jiangyao Porcelain Company runs a specialist decorating workshop as well. They buy porcelain blanks from suppliers. At this company, the workshop staff members come from a broader range of social backgrounds. Staff members are often university graduates as well as recent students who quit school as young as fifteen. However, each and every staff member receives precise training from the resident master painter at the Jiangyao Company. The master painter supervises every aspect of the job performed in the workshop.
These facts establish the truth that authentic, hand painted Chinese porcelain is a product of great skill to be acquired over time. Often, such training begins at a very early age. In China the business of a family is passed on through a family of tradesmen. The hard work and care which goes into the art of production speaks for itself. Chinese painted porcelain will add beauty and elegance to your Asian home or office that will not be missed. Good luck in your decorating journey!