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Fine Bone China vs English Creamware

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When we began making our mugs, one of the most important factors we had to consider was which clay we were going to use. We had two obvious front-runners – Fine Bone China (example on the left) and Creamware (example on the right). Both were developed in the mid-1700’s in England, but what differentiates these two clays are the different compositions of raw clay materials, giving the ceramics different characteristics and benefits. 

Fine Bone China is the English version of Porcelain, invented by Josiah Spode. It is made up from stone, clay and bone in the form of ash (hence where it gets it name), which makes up at least 25% of the china. This makes it strong, whiter in colour and slightly translucent. It is an elegant ceramic that is used typically for formal entertaining.

Creamware is a warm, cream coloured refined earthenware that was developed by Staffordshire potters, as an alternative for Porcelain. It is made up from stone and clay combined with a translucent glaze, and has a characteristic pale cream colour (there’s no bone in it so it’s vegan friendly!). It proved to be ideal for domestic ware (Creamware tableware is featured and used in the kitchens of Downton Abbey don’t you know!). 

We tested samples of both clays to get a better understanding of what works best for an everyday mug that could last a lifetime (and the dishwasher). It was important for us to create a mug that felt wholesome and homely, and Creamware did exactly that. It made our mugs solid, sturdy and cosy, yet smooth and pleasant to hold and quite simply, it looks beautiful in our home (also, without sounding like a prude, the animal bone in Fine Bone China kind of grossed us out). 

We are so pleased that our mugs are hand cast in the finest quality English Creamware, which is sourced from Devon and Cornwall. It has been a quintessential Staffordshire product for hundreds of years and we are so excited to be able to put our stamp on this delightfully classic clay.

Q x