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Cook & Drink

What's The Story With Our Porcelain?

Snowe porcelain factory 

We believe you are what you eat off of, so we're taking a trip through history to discover how our preferred porcelain, Limoges, came to be.

 

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Most wouldn’t expect the origins of a type of clay to resemble the plot of a European spy thriller.  Yet the discovery of Limoges clay, used for the body of our dinnerware  and serveware, offers both international intrigue and closely guarded secret formulas. 

  

Though hardly on par with the latest Bond flick, it’s scintillating when it comes to the history of…well, what is porcelain anyway? Put simply, porcelain refers to a process in which a clay object has been fired twice at very high temperatures (1000 and 1400 Celsius, NBD), producing incredibly strong yet thin-walled pieces that weigh much less than comparable alternatives.  Limoges just refers to the region in France where the clay was obtained—more on this later. 

Porcelain manufacturing

It takes a lot of work to get porcelain this perfect. 

 

Marco Polo famously encountered Chinese porcelain in the late 13th century and returned to Europe with it.   However, the Chinese refused to divulge their recipe, so European manufacturers were forced replicate it themselves, with little success.

 

 

Fast forward to 1768, when a chemist’s wife near Limoges discovered a soft, white clay and used it to wash her linens.  This substance was later determined to be the missing ingredient from the Chinese formula—kaolin, a clay mineral responsible for giving porcelain many of its prized attributes like its heat resistance, density, and non-porous nature (meaning it can't stain). With access to kaolin, the region became known for producing the best quality porcelain and has maintained this reputation for over 240 years.  

 Starter Eat Limoges

Fun dinner party game: Spot the Limoges. 

 

 

Even the most inveterate Francophile might find the story of Limoges clay a little dusty. We’ve taken traditional porcelain into this century and created pasta bowls, mugs, and dinner plates made for every day and the most special occasions. They go well with any moment - from reheating dinner in the microwave to mixing up Grandma's patterned china at Thanksgiving. The best materials may still be the best, but how we live has changed considerably since 1768 (not to mention the 13th century). 

 

 

Snowe porcelain bowl

Our commitment to quality, stamped on every piece.

 

How does our porcelain stack up? We start with only the best porcelain clay from Limoges, France. Our top-notch partner factory in Portugal then uses almost a century of porcelain artistry to craft the ultra fine, ultra strong dinnerware we're known for. Preserving the tradition of European porcelain craftsmanship, we're also able to produce the type of porcelain which takes the cake for fine china you can use everyday. 

 

We're proud of our factory and our porcelain, but don't just take our word for it. See for yourself.

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