Gliding China

The process of applying precious metals to a piece of china is called gilding.

For some items, like plates, the metals can be applied with a decal or a transfer. For pieces like a creamer or a teacup the metal is best applied by hand in liquid form because of the irregular shape and small size.

Recent developments have produced a machine-resistant gold that can withstand extreme wear. Most metal borders are hand-applied over the glaze. Precious metals would burn away if subjected to ghost firing. How decorations are applied and the glazing techniques used determine price and whether or not the dinnerware is dishwasher-safe.