Two workmen source kaolin, the base for the fine white porcelain, from the original mine; which is one of the smallest in Germany, and has been in use since the 18th century. The clay is processed under the watchful eyes of skilled technicians at the factory, and just a few halls away, it is cast and fired, glazed and hand-painted by specialist artisans with historically preserved techniques.
The adjacent museum and archives filled with ceiling-high stacks of porcelain moulds and historic sketches chronicle over 300 years of the factory’s history. Over time, these artefacts are testament to how Europeans imagined plants and animals from far-away lands at a time when realistic depictions of such things were unavailable.
“The traditional techniques largely remain the same, everyone has their specialties, and we work very closely with each other to design and realize new pieces. But over time, the aesthetics have changed,” says Maximilian Hagstotz, a sculptor, who like the majority of the artisans working for Meissen, was trained in-house.