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How Ceramic Dishware is Produced Commercially

How Ceramic Dishware is Produced Commercially

We make ceramic dishware to withstand heavy use and cleaning, but we also want it to look elegant and interesting. How are quality and aesthetically pleasing dining sets made on a large scale? Artists create handmade dishes by throwing clay onto a wheel then drying and glazing the finished objects. This wouldn’t work if you needed to produce hundreds of items in a day. How are these tools we use every day created?

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A fine meal is made even better with a fine dish, and they aren’t easy to make (ceramics manufacturing video). We must first produce a gypsum die. This is the inverse shape of your dish, and it’s what the material will be poured into to form its shape. There might be one master die, then many production versions to allow for multiple dishes to set at the same time. Gypsum (a soft sulfate mineral composed of calcium sulfate dihydrate, mainly used as chalk, plaster, and drywall) will then be poured into the die. We remove the water to leave the chalky mineral behind by applying heat from underneath.


We then create the ceramic mix. It is sifted until there are no lumps, then it is cut into slabs to be fed into a pugger (machine that compresses air bubbles out of clay) which will ensure the dinnerware will not crack during firing. A machine portions out enough clay for each shape. We place the clay on the gypsum dies that revolve on a platform. A metal tool presses each piece of clay into the shape of the mold as they revolve by. We spray water on the tool between pressings so it remains slick.

Ceramics factory


Heat from a dryer removes moisture from the dishes. We then spin plates on pedestals while pressing a sponge to them in order to smooth the ceramic material. Creating mugs is very difficult due to the fact the handles are made separately and they must have the exact same moisture content as the mug (16%) to attach. The factory workers must then individually press each handle onto the mugs. 

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Dinnerware is glazed by hand. Dishes are rotated while artists apply glaze simply by pressing down upon them. For more intricate designs, labels and stickers can be applied. They are then heat sealed onto the dish permanently, but they must be washed more gently, making it difficult for them to be used in restaurants. All items enter the oven to be fired. The entire process takes about 24 hours.

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