About Bone China
All our ceramics are fine bone china and are mostly made in Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire by skilled craftspeople, resulting in a mix of centuries-old production techniques and our contemporary designs. Above, you’ll see Heather in our factory filling moulds with china clay, which we call slip.
Stoke-on-Trent is considered worldwide as the home of bone china, and the Potteries are renowned for the towering brick bottle-shaped chimneys that dominate the skyline. However, the first development of what would become known as bone china was in fact made by Thomas Frye and Edward Heylyn in 1748 at their porcelain factory in Bow, East London - just down the road from us! Frye discovered that mixing bone ash into china clay, he could produce a porcelain of brilliant whiteness and luminescence but also of extraordinary durability.
Josiah Spode further developed the concept in Stoke-on-Trent, and finalised his formulation sometime between 1789 and 1793. Bone china soon proved to be highly popular and was quickly introduced by other English pottery manufacturers. Spode's formulation remains the base for all bone china today.
Until the later part of the twentieth century, bone china remained almost exclusively an English product, with production being effectively localised to Stoke. Much of Britain’s ceramics industry has since moved abroad but a small and vital industry of mould makers, model makers and casters still exists here.
It is so important to us to make the most of this expertise, honed in Staffordshire for more than two centuries. People that buy a Reiko Kaneko design can be confident that their product was designed with passion and made in England.