History and techniques

This kind of decoration is applied to a white glazed piece, on which a design is made using a special pencil. The lines of the drawing are then highlighted with a brush using a neutral colour. The object is then baked, allowing the colour to set, proper decoration follows, with a brush or a dabbing technique. The decoration is repeated several times to achieve the desired shade or the deep toner of a background, and each time the item is baked to set the colour. The colours used are light and have to be applied repeatedly after each bake. Last of all pure gold which has been chemically liquefied is applied using a variety of techniques.

Porcelain in Veneto

Until 1708, porcelain in Europe came mainly from China. In that year Johann F. Bottger, an alchemist, discovered the secret of this most sought after and immensely valuable material, also known as “white gold”. The 18th century Veneto’s workshops hold a prominent place in the history of porcelain.The first Italian factory (the third one ever built in Europe, after the Meissen and Vienna plants) was the Vezzi factory built in Venice in 1720. The Helvecke family and the Cozzi brothers established the other two 18th century Venetian factories, also famous for the beauty of their products now on display in major museums around the word. Just as significant, and the latter’s competitor, was Le Nove (Antonibon 1762, Parolin 1781,). Then there was the Este factory (Brunello 1762, Varion 1778, Franchini 1780) with its troubled history. Paola Cristina keeps the tradition of these great workshops alive by using 18th century porcelain decoration techniques in her studio.