From slip to sip – A Mug’s Tale


Susan Rose China takes great pride in how it produces its fine English bone china gifts and it’s all done here in the UK. It is a lengthy process with attention to detail given to every step. And this is how it is done – A Mug’s Tale

Step 1

In the beginning...


The Cornish clay is mixed with bone ash and delivered to the china factory where it is mixed with 60% water. This is called slip.

Step 2

Moulded into something special


The slip is poured into a mould for 15 minutes. The mould is tipped up and the excess is poured away to be recycled. The remaining slip is left to dry for around 15 minutes. The dried clay shape is carefully removed from the mould.

Step 3

Washing and sponging


The dried piece is washed and sponged before overnight firing in a gas fired kiln at 1240°C for 11 hours where it shrinks 15% in the firing to produce the biscuit. It is placed in the vibro-machine and vibrated with media which are hundreds of tiny pieces of wood and clay which smooths the biscuit.  It is checked for any imperfections and then the biscuit is dipped into glaze and foot wiped (wiping the glaze off the bottom of the piece so it does not stick to the kiln when fired).

Step 4

All fired up


It is checked and placed onto a large bat (kiln shelf) which is placed into the electric kiln and fired overnight for 9 hours to a temperature of 1080°C. It is now called glost ware. The grader checks and sorts the glost ware. Any pieces with marks are smoothed off and re-glazed before a final firing.

Step 5

A thing of beauty is ready to be loved

The plain white glazed china arrives at Susan Rose China. Laminates created from Susan’s designs are put on the china and the rims hand painted. The china is put in the kiln and fired at 800°C overnight. The finished china is photographed and packaged and posted out to our valued customers.

Magna carta mug being painted
Packing a mug ready for despatch
Boxing the china ready for delivery
China mugs with personalisation – Magna carta mug full of history