Randy McDonald (rfmcdpei) wrote,
Randy McDonald

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[LINK] Porcelain, the 18th century's plastic

lord_whimsy's very readable account of his interest in Sèvres porcelain brought to mind my memories of my April 2003 visit to the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art. The exhibits concentrated on exploring the sheer novelty of porcelain in the 18th century context, as a superior Asian technology initially beyond European manufacturing skills, even after massive government-sponsored research-and-development projects in England, France, and the larger German states. Once porcelain technology was cracked, goods made of the durable and easy-to-clean material became ubiquitous. If many porcelain goods tended to be artistically naive and mawkish, well, what did we do with plastic?
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