Shadows of Light – research

Shadows of Light is a research project to create sustainable white translucent porcelain, through recycling.

Glassy, white translucency is one of the characteristics of porcelain. It is caused by pure kaolin. This pure white clay is mined in the mountains around Jingdezhen (China), a city that has been famous for its fine porcelain for over 2000 years. The kaolin that is mined here, however, has become less pure and greyer in recent decades. The industry is clearly leaving its mark. This trend is the inspiration for my project, Shadows of Light with which I want to research alternatives ways of creating transparency in porcelain. Transparency is one of the characteristics of porcelain that I want to retain, even if raw materials are becoming less white and translucent.

The aim of my research is to develop sustainable and innovative materials. I want to create an alternative to pure (white) kaolin and use this as a starting point for new designs. And my designs will provide insight into the process from raw material to finished product. I believe it is important to share this story at a time when the origin and impact of a product on our (living) environment is becoming more and more unclear.

Jingdezhen is famous for it’s porcelain production. Many factories produce tons of porcelain and almost 50% of their production is waste or imperfect and not sellable. I used bisqued and fired porcelain shards for my research and created new materials. The outcome has original features and is highly potential to develop into production scale.