Bone China

A handmade process

What is Bone China?

Bone China is a type of porcelain that is more transparent and more durable than standard porcelain. It also has a brighter, warmer glow when lit. The grade of Bone China we use is referred to as Fine Bone China. With its elegant ivory finish, this traditional ceramic and relaxed lighting shifts Coolicon lampshades from industrial settings into the refined comforts of the home.

This material’s history is unique to Stoke-on-Trent, England, where the words “Bone China” refer to the use of bone ash in the composition.

“Refined handmade craft lighting pieces”

3 differences between Porcelain and Fine Bone China


Bone China can be fired at lower temperatures than most porcelain materials because the structure vitrifies. This makes Bone China stronger and more durable than porcelain. Porcelain is fired at higher temperatures, making it more fragile and more likely to chip.


Due to the composition of Bone China, thinner and lighter products can be crafted. In comparison, porcelain products are thicker and easier to produce, they are often used for high-quality electrical insulators.


Bone China is ivory-white in colour and emits a much warmer, rich toned light than standard porcelain. Standard porcelain is brighter white in colour and emits a colder blue/green light when lit.

How does it link to Coolicon Lighting?

Our Gloss Silhouette lampshade is handcrafted in the birthplace of Bone China, Stoke-on-Trent, England. Coolicon, once the light to illuminate the industrial landscape of the potteries, now proudly produce lampshades in the same family-run workshops.

Fired three times, our lampshades progress through the production process under the watchful eye of the master craftsman and this family team. We believe, with good reason, we are working with the world’s finest Bone China workshop.

“The world’s finest Bone China workshop”

Day 1

The process begins when the Bone China is mixed into a liquid slip. Both the Gloss Silhouette and Natural Terracotta lampshade are produced through slip casting.

1. Filling the mould

The mould is filled with liquid slip. The mould will absorb some of the water to start the setting process.

2. Emptying

After a period of time the mould is emptied.

The time taken for the cast to set varies based on a number of factors, such as air temperature and humidity. Only the craftsmen have the skill to know when it is just right. 

3. Cast clean-up

The roughly moulded lampshade is now cleaned up and shaped by hand.

4. Trimming

The lampshade is trimmed and released from the mould.

5. Shaping

The hole in the top of the lampshade is cut before the lampshade enters the kiln for the first time.

6. Final clean-up

The lampshade is cleaned up a second time, out with the mould, ahead of the first firing.

Day 2

7. First firing

After the first quality inspection point the lampshade is fired. The soft brittle lampshade becomes a fully-vitrified hard ceramic. The lampshade now has a beautiful bell-like ring to it when tapped. 

Day 3

8. Glazing

No brushes and no spray guns, the glaze is applied to the Silhouette lampshade in a single dipping process. This highly skilled process relies on the constant motion of the dipper to swirl the glaze over the surface without a single dribble or finger mark.

9. Drying

The lampshade is set aside to dry before entering the kiln once again.

Day 4

10. Second firing

Once fired the high gloss glaze brings out the translucent properties of the Bone China. The Gloss Silhouette is now finely inspected.

Day 5

11. Last firing

With the Coolicon® badge applied, the handmade Gloss Silhouette now has its final firing to finish the pure gold badge into the glaze.

After exiting the kiln, the Gloss Silhouette lampshade is carefully packaged and labelled, ready for its new home.