Why Is My Same Style Porcelain Plate Shape Different?


  1. Handcrafted Variations
  2. Manufacturing Tolerances
  3. Ceramic Firing and Glazing Process
  4. Stacking and Storage Impacts
  5. Conclusion

You may find some notable size variations in porcelain plates of one set. Popular reasons behind the size difference in porcelain plates are handcrafted elements, manufacturing tolerances, ceramic production factors, and variations in handling.

Porcelain dinner sets offer an elegant aesthetic. You can add a touch of majestic elegance to your table setting in the form of porcelain dinnerware. The beautiful shine and smooth feel of porcelain impress your guests. You can elevate the look and flavor of your food by presenting it in porcelain dishes.

Porcelain dinnerware is made of clay, including other ingredients like kaolin, feldspar, and quartz. All ingredients are blended well to form porcelain dishes. Next, porcelain dishes are baked at a very high temperature. The high temperature adds utmost durability and wonderful shine to porcelain. Further, a glaze is added to make porcelain dishes smoother and neater.

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The production process of a porcelain dinner set comprises various stages. Various stages can have different impacts on the sizes of porcelain plates. You can notice a slight difference in the sizes of various dinner set plates. These differences are due to the multiple stages of the production process. Let us talk in detail about the production stages, which make slight differences in the sizes of porcelain plates:

Handcrafted Variations

Porcelain is made of clay. It is an incredible handcraft that shapes porcelain plates of different sizes. The individualized process of shaping every single plate by hand makes little difference in the sizes of porcelain plates. A dinner set is supposed to be crafted with the help of a single mold, but each artisan adds some final hand finishes. The last handcrafted touches are responsible for variations in the sizes of porcelain dishes. The beautiful designs are first handcrafted and then baked at the fire. The inclusion of the individualized handling style of each artisan makes variations in the sizes of plates. The formation of a porcelain plate includes significant steps.

First, molds are used to give a certain size and shape to the clay mixture. Molds are supposed to form the same size and shape for all plates. However, a slight difference in size and shape may occur due to the varied response of the clay to a mold. The variation in the size and shape is also a result of the handling style of each artisan. This is the reason why the same mold may shape porcelain plates with slightly different sizes.

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Next, artisans do trimming and smoothing. This step is done by hand and there are significant chances of size variations in it.

Further, design details, like carvings, engravings, or applied decorations, are added. The designs are applied to all plates one by one. The step is also completed by artisans’ hands so they can make changes in the sizes of porcelain plates.

Glazing is done by hand. The application technique of applying a glaze can make a porcelain plate thicker or thinner. The application process of glaze can make differences in the size of porcelain plates.

Manufacturing Tolerances

The manufacturing tolerance of a material plays a significant role in different sizes. Porcelain is manufactured through mechanical procedures. However, even the use of machines cannot eliminate the chance of varied sizes of plates. The reason is that the individual pieces of a material respond in distinctive ways to the same manufacturing process. The slight differences in sizes and shapes of porcelain plates are normal and acceptable even when manufacturing machines are used. The slight distinction in sizes is not noticeable enough to have an unpleasant impact on the appealing aesthetic of porcelain dinnerware.

The manufacturing process takes time and mechanical energy. Though mechanical input and output are strictly controlled during porcelain manufacturing, the clay may respond differently during every individual manufacturing piece. The difference in response of clay to the manufacturing process makes minor deviations in the sizes of plates.

Sometimes, environmental factors, like temperature and humidity, can affect various batches of plates, which are machine-manufactured. Clay responds to environmental factors naturally so there could appear small variations in the sizes and dimensions of porcelain plates.

Ceramic Firing and Glazing Process

Ceramic firing and glazing are significant stages in manufacturing beautiful porcelain dinnerware. Ceramic firing adds durability to a porcelain plate texture, and the glaze makes porcelain plates shine amusingly. Both firing and glazing are done precisely to attain the required durability and glow. However, there may be slight warping or changes in the shapes and dimensions of porcelain plates during firing and glazing.

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The firing process removes all sorts of moisture from the clay. It may make the plates shrink and deform. Artisans form sizes that can tolerate shrinkage and deformation during the firing at a very high temperature. At the start, the clay is baked. This step is called bisque firing. Bisque firing can cause shrinkage as it eliminates all the dampness from clay.

The next step is adding glaze to porcelain dishes. After adding glaze, porcelain plates are again fired. The glaze melts to form a glassy surface. The melting of glaze can cause warping, and warping further may make slight differences in the sizes of plates. The contraction of various materials and the thermal expansion during firing and glazing can make small deviations in the dimensions and sizes of porcelain plates.

Stacking and Storage Impacts

The stacking and storage method of porcelain plates has a great impact on making size variations. Once you purchase your favorite porcelain dinner set and bring it home, you need to handle it carefully and precisely. You must be gentle in handling porcelain plates during the stacking and storage process. The minor careless handling can make the delicate porcelain plate chipped or cracked. You must learn how to handle and stack porcelain dishes properly to avoid any potential damages over time, like size variations.

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You must use stack rings or plate separators while putting plates above each other. A piece of soft cloth works very well to eliminate the rubbing of plates with each other in the storage and stacking process. Porcelain looks majestic and can be damaged due to careless stacking. You must choose a storage cabinet for stacking that is aside and is not used very often. You must be careful that the storage space is airy. High temperature and moisture affect the texture of porcelain, which is made of clay. It would be good to rotate which plates you use regularly to prevent wear. If you use the same plates every time, the plates may lose their glazy shine over time, and you will notice size deviations between often-used and less-used plates. The careful handling, storage, and stacking minimize the risk of size variations in porcelain plates.


To conclude, minor size deviations in porcelain plates of one dinner set are common. There are many reasons for slight variations in the sizes of porcelain plates. The significant causes are handcrafted elements, manufacturing tolerances, ceramic production processes, and handling over time. Minor differences in the sizes of porcelain plates do not affect the aesthetic charm of fine porcelain dinnerware. The beautiful look and sleek touch of porcelain remain irresistible in spite of the slight size differences. Slight size variations due to handcrafted elements, manufacturing tolerance, and ceramic firing and glazing process cannot be prevented. However, careful handling of porcelain plates can help to avoid size changes over time.

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