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The soft pastes all include a fair proportion of glass in their formulas which allowed for the production of some magnificent French porcelain.The English started making porcelain rather late compared with the rest of Europe, and several of the English factories used the glassy type of soft paste.It differs significantly from the recipe for true or hard paste porcelain, which was first discovered by the Chinese about a 1000 years ago then rediscovered by Meissen about 1710.Hard paste porcelain is a mixture of kaolin and petunse, or china clay and china stone, mixed and then fired to a temperature of about 1350C degrees.In trying to improve the recipes two other basic types of soft paste porcelain were made in England.One type used soapstone (soapy) in the mix and the other used bone ash (bony).The word hard-paste, porcelain; artificial, or soft-paste, porcelain; and bone china.
Although there is a superficial resemblance, artificial porcelain can generally be distinguished from true porcelain by its softer body.
Because painting under the glaze—that is, on a fired, unglazed body—must be fired at the same high temperature as body and glaze, many colours would “fire away.” Thus, underglaze painting on porcelain is largely limited to the extremely stable and reliable cobalt blue found on Chinese blue-and-white wares.
Most porcelain colours—called overglaze, enamel, or low-temperature colours—are painted over the fired glaze and fired at a much lower temperature.
Unlike feldspathic glaze, it adheres as a relatively thick coating.
Painted decoration on porcelain is usually executed over the fired glaze.
The alternative formula for soft paste porcelain was first made in Europe by the Medicis in Florence in 1575, and later made in France from the latter part of the 17th C at Rouen.