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These are the vessels which contain our means of sustenance - food and drink - and the tools for one of our more pleasant pastimes: eating.
The cults, ceremonies and customs associated with eating and drinkingare as old as humanity itself. Along with cultural evolution and changes of habit, the eating and drinking habits of all ethnic groups havechanged considerably over the centuries.
Nature provided the first bowls and utensils. Humans made their first knives out of obsidian and flint. The first bowls were hollowed stones and baskets lined with clay. Soon people learned that baking would harden the clay and that a framework of wicker or rush was no longer needed once the clay was fired. Thus began the evolution of the art of pottery. The basic raw material, clay, could be found in most parts of the world.
In China another, similar, material was found which could be formed extremely thinly and, when fired, it remained light in colour: that was china clay.
There is only one place on earth where the right mixture of raw materials for porcelain can be found in its natural state. Thus blessed, China had a head start in developing fine porcelain.
Once humans had learned how to melt and process metals, dagger-type weapons for killing animals were among the first objects made. The use of knives for eating was a logical development.
In the making of weapons and jewellery from bronze, hard shiny beads in brilliant colours would form where the sand of the moulds came into contact with the very hot cinders and glowing ashes of the fire: the very first glass.
A waste product?
For a long time used only for jewellery, people discovered the versatility of these beads.
The development of processing all these materials rich in tradition has come a long way from the very beginnings to todays high quality products.