Porcelain is the finest and most expensive type of pottery. It is usually white and translucent, meaning that light will shine through it.
   Porcelain is made of a mixture of kaolin and feldspar. These materials are finely-ground and washed and then mixed into a clay. The clay is then worked and kneaded. When the clay reaches the proper consistency, it is shaped into the desired piece either on a potter's wheel or in a mold. If the piece is to have a handle and spout, these are separately molded and attached to the piece with the clay. Then it is set aside to dry, after which it is baked in a kiln or oven at a comparatively low temperature. The baked piece is known as a biscuit. The biscuit is then dipped in glaze and again fired at a very high temperature.
   The secret of making porcelain was discovered in China. The earliest pieces date to about 900 A.D. Porcelain was introduced to Europe in the 15th century. Various Europeans tried unsuccessfully to duplicate this highly-prized chinaware. It wasn't until 1709 that Boettger, a chemist to the Elector of Saxony, succeeded in discovering the materials that compose porcelain.