May 31, Meissen GE

A very light day for us.  After sleeping in we took our time getting going in the morning with Ton updating her friends on Line, and me catching up on what was going on with the Timbers.

Meissen is famous for being the first place in Europe to manufacture porcelain.  Porcelain from China and Japan was all the rage in the late 1600’s and imports were really expensive so the local prince told some of his best minds to figure out how it was made.  Eventually they successfully reverse engineered the process and in 1710 opened the first porcelain manufacturing site outside of Asia in Meissen.  It has been in continuous business since then.

The symbol of the Meissen Porcelain Factory with some examples of their product.

The demonstration of the manufacturing process is quite interesting as actual artisans from the company perform work as you watch them.  The work is quite intricate and artistic, so it is fascinating to watch them actually perform the work as it is described to you.  

The initial process uses a potters wheel and molds to form the piece.

We really enjoyed seeing the process. The work at Meissen is still largely done by hand unlike most porcelain manufacturers who have automated the process.  As a result Meissen porcelain is highly valued and is expensive.

This lady is hand making details for the statues on the right.
This lady is hand applying the paint, they apply one color at a time, you can see different stages of the process in the background.

After the demonstration we walked thru the museum with over 3000 pieces from different eras on display. There was a lot of very interesting porcelains on display, and we spent quite a bit of time walking thru the exhibits.  

A porcelain clock produced at Meissen in the late 1700’s.
This porcelain piece is available for €31,000.  The cheapest thing we saw was a cup for €35.  

We decided to head back to François a little early for the day after we picked up some things at the grocery.  We relaxed for the afternoon, while I tried to have a conversation with our Dutch neighbor.  He was quite a character, but also the first Dutchman I have come across who was not fluent in English.  As a result I spent a lot of time nodding and smiling while maybe understanding 20% of what he was telling me.  Still it was nice, and gave Ton and his wife some time to take care of business without us in their hair.

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