Porcelain began to be transported to Europe from China in the XIV century, and it was worth its weight in gold, and sometimes much higher. Even the splinters of the cups at the time were worn as expensive jewelry.
European alchemists long sought the secret of producing "white gold", but the first European porcelain manufactory appeared only in 1708 in Saxony, Meissen.
How the Imperial Porcelain Factory was founded
Porcelain production could not butInterested in Peter I, who aspired to keep up with the West and dreamed of organizing a porcelain factory in Russia. He even sent people with "espionage errands" to Saxony. But "to take a swoop" production secrets Meissen masters failed - they were guarded tightly. And Russian porcelain began to be produced only under Elizabeth.
On February 1, 1744 the Chamberlain of the EmpressElizaveta Petrovna, Baron Nikolai Korf, concluded an agreement with a certain Christopher Gunger, who undertook "to establish in St. Petersburg a manufactory for making Dutch dishes." And six months later, a factory was set up near St. Petersburg for the production of porceline (as in Europe at that time it was called porcelain). But Gunger could not start production at the same time: he had no knowledge or skills at all.
The case was rescued by the so-called "disciple" Gunther -Dmitry Vinogradov. Before entering the factory, Vinogradov spent eight years in Europe studying chemistry, metallurgy and mining - and it was he who in 1746 succeeded in obtaining the first successful samples of Russian porcelain, and then working out the production technology and put it on stream. In 1765, the manufactory was named the Imperial Porcelain Factory. After that, within a century and a half the factory, from the first day specialized in the production of art porcelain of the highest quality, worked mainly on a "government order". The sets, vases, painted dishes produced here could not be bought - only to receive as a gift from the emperor.
Pages of History: Agitation Porcelain and Teeth for Soviet Power
In the post-revolutionary year 1918, the nationalizedAnd renamed the "State Porcelain Factory", the enterprise was placed under the jurisdiction of the People's Commissariat of Education, and before it the ideological task was set: the development of products "revolutionary in content, perfect in form, impeccable in technical execution." The result was the famous agitation porcelain, which became "part-time" also a new stage in the development of the Russian avant-garde.
Under the guidance of the artist Sergei Chekhonin, a whole pleiad of artists participated in the creation of agitation porcelain, including Petrov-Vodkin, Kustodiev, Malevich, and Kandinsky.
In 1924, when the country was thinking aboutRestoration of the national economy, the enterprise was transferred to the management of "Porfortour" - and the main forces were thrown on the production of technical porcelain. The plant, which in 1925 was given the name of Lomonosov, produced more than 300 products: dentures, artificial eyes, insulators, boilers, laboratory dishes and so on.
Despite this, the enterprise remained"Supplier of the court": at solemn receptions the Kremlin tables were served with dishes made by special order by the masters of the LFZ. And in the 1930s, the first in the country art laboratory was opened at the plant (it was headed by Malevich's pupil, the suprematist artist Nikolai Suetin), who created the style of "Soviet porcelain". And in the "thaw" in 1953, dentures were forgotten: the plant began to satisfy the "needs of the Soviet people" for bringing culture into everyday life, specializing in the development of new technologies and the production of high-complexity products. And in 1965, they began to produce the famous bone china.
After the collapse of the USSR Lomonosov Porcelain FactoryWas privatized and for some time balanced on the verge of closure, but then gradually "came to himself." In 2005, the company regained its historical name and once again became "Imperial", took a clear reference point for the production of "luxury" products, products under individual orders and artistic porcelain.
"Brand Signs" of the Imperial Porcelain Factory
Bone porcelain is considered to be "royal"- incredibly thin-walled, ringing, translucent. It began to be produced in England in the middle of the 18th century, adding to bone porcelain bone ash - the calcium phosphate contained in it and giving the dishes such unprecedented whiteness. The Petersburg Imperial Porcelain Factory is the only enterprise in Russia that manufactures such porcelain. At first it was just tea and coffee cups and saucers, since 2002, there have been set-ups.
Composition of raw materials for bone china technologyThe plant was selected by trial and error. As a result, we stopped on the tibia of cattle. At first, bone porcelain was made from the waste of button manufacture.
Another "sign of distinction" IFZ - artisticA sculpture made of porcelain, the manufacture of which is hand-made. On average, to pour out one statuette, the craftsman takes 2-3 days. Porcelain "dolls" - figures of people and animals - were produced here from the middle of the 18th century. One of the most famous pre-revolutionary series of sculptures is the "Peoples of Russia" (about a hundred figures depicting men and women in national costumes), the most famous was the "ballet" series from Soviet sculpture. Now in the shop of art sculpture LFZ are produced and "replicas" (repetitions) of historical figurines, and new models. Among recent works, a series of sculptures by Mikhail Shemyakin, depicting the heroes of the Nutcracker, was especially notable.
Painting porcelain products - this is whatAllows you to turn "just a good thing" into a unique thing. At the Imperial Porcelain Factory there are two painting workshops: manual and mechanized. About 20 artists work in the hand-painted workshop, creating a unique exhibition porcelain and products on special order. To decorate a vase or dish can take about a month, and the cost of such products is extremely high.
Work in the mechanized painting shop is moreIs monotonous, but it is here that patterns are created that are recognized throughout the world. Among them, IFZ's "visiting card" is the famous "Cobalt Grid" - a design for which the factory artist Anna Yatskevich was awarded the gold medal of the World Exhibition in Brussels in 1958. Since then, the dishes decorated with this pattern are produced at the factory on an industrial scale. Here they even developed special forms for such utensils: on the sides of it, thin grooves were drawn along the sides, a contour, which must be manually surrounded by cobalt lines. Cobalt mesh can be applied to the product and using decals - a thin film that resembles a decal, on which a cobalt pattern is printed. When firing porcelain, the film burns out, and the pattern is imprinted on the surface of the product. Gold sprockets at the intersection of blue lines are applied to the pattern either manually or using a miniature die.