The English had read the letters of Jesuit missionary François Xavier d'Entrecolles, which described Chinese porcelain manufacturing secrets in detail.
The composition of porcelain is highly variable, but the clay mineral kaolinite is often a raw material.
Other raw materials can include feldspar, ball clay, glass, bone ash, steatite, quartz, petuntse and alabaster.
Its manufacturing process is more demanding than that for earthenware and stoneware, the two other main types of pottery, and it has usually been regarded as the most prestigious type of pottery for its delicacy, strength, and its white colour.
It combines well with both glazes and paint, and can be modelled very well, allowing a huge range of decorative treatments in tablewares, vessels and figurines. The European name, porcelain in English, comes from the old Italian porcellana (cowrie shell) because of its resemblance to the surface of the shell.
Datasets from historical sites around the Chesapeake Bay and a synagogue site in Jamaica allow an assessment of the statistical precision of formula dates.
The results suggest that archaeologists should report these dates with their standard deviations and not as single-number results.Later, the composition of the Meissen hard paste was changed and the alabaster was replaced by feldspar and quartz, allowing the pieces to be fired at lower temperatures.Kaolinite, feldspar and quartz (or other forms of silica) continue to constitute the basic ingredients for most continental European hard-paste porcelains.The category that an object belongs to depends on the composition of the paste used to make the body of the porcelain object and the firing conditions.Porcelain slowly evolved in China and was finally achieved (depending on the definition used) at some point about 2,000 to 1,200 years ago, then slowly spread to other East Asian countries, and finally Europe and the rest of the world.Formulations were later developed based on kaolin with quartz, feldspars, nepheline syenite or other feldspathic rocks.