When our co-founder Jake was deciding on where our plates, bowls, and serving platters should be made, there were many options that were on the table. But, in order for us to stay in line with Made In’s ethos on sourcing the best quality cookware, it was only right that we do the same with our plateware. Enter Stoke-on-Trent, England. Known for its pottery (their local soccer team’s nickname is The Potters) and its close proximity to abundant clay resources, Stoke-on-Trent was the perfect place to have our new plateware collection produced. So what separates our manufacturing process from others? We’re glad you asked.
Acquiring The ClayThe obvious first step is sourcing the clay, which is found along the English coastline. The raw clay is mixed with water and then passed through a sieve and a series of magnets to remove any impurities. Who knew that making plateware was just like making a beurre blanc? The sieve part, we don’t condone using magnets to achieve a smooth sauce consistency!
Alumina is then added to the mixture, which provides strength, color, and impeccable heat retention capabilities to all of our plates, bowls, and serving platters. This addition of alumina is what separates Made In plateware from other options on the market.
Press and Shape
The water that was added to the clay gets pressed out and the clay gets transferred to a machine called the Pug Mill, which removes all of the air. The removal of air leads to a lower chance of breakage once the plateware gets fired in the kiln. The clay then gets transferred to the shaping machine.
All plates and bowls are made on an automated shaping machine, while the serving platter is made on a manual machine. The clay is placed onto a mold and the machine pushes down on the clay into the molded shape, all while it is being spun. The best part about this process? All of the excess clay is recycled. Once all of our plateware is formed, each pieces passes through a dehumidifier to get rid of excess moisture, similar to the Pug Mill. The plateware then goes through a machine that smoothes the surface out. Before any plateware gets fired in the kiln, it gets checked for any imperfections. The plateware then gets put into a 2,200℉ kiln for around five minutes.
Adding That Made In Touch
The next couple of steps are what gives Made In plateware its personal touch. After the first firing in the kiln, our pieces get back stamped with the Made In logo. Our red-rimmed plateware gets its color when someone loads the pieces onto the machine that applies the signature Made In rim. Up to 4,000 pieces can get banded a day! Next step: Glazing.
That Perfect Finish
What makes Made In’s plateware so unique is its strength and durability, and the glazing process is a large factor in this. Our pieces are suspended in the air by three pins, which allows for a fully glazed back. This reduces scratching when the pieces are stacked and makes them much stronger. As a result of this process, our plates, bowls, and serving platters will have a beauty mark on them. These marks are small and do not impact the functionality of the piece. In the hospitality industry, these marks are appreciated and met with open arms. They truly are a sign of the highest quality plateware. Once the pieces are glazed, they get put into the kiln one more time at a slightly lower temperature than the first firing. After one final check to make sure all products are perfect, they are ready to be shipped to our warehouse!
Made In’s plateware comes with a 1-year edge-chip warranty, has a fully glazed back for optimal stacking conditions, is fully vitrified, and is dishwasher, oven, freezer, and microwave safe. Shop here now!