Porcelain was produced in China since the 13th century. In the beginning of the 18th century Augustus the Strong ordered to uncover the secret and Johann Friedrich Böttger, Walther von Tschirnhaus and other specialists started to work on the research assignment. They succeded: In 1707/08 the white, European hard porcelain was discovered.
The manufacturing procedures at the Porzellan-Manufaktur Meissen are subdivided so as to assure the continuous reproducibility of all shapes and decorations. It was a particular advantage of the newly found fine ceramic material that all objects could always be produced again upon demand, as long as the negative plaster of Paris moulds - and the know-how - were available.
Preservation of the old handicraft of the modeler, turner, former, painter etc. is a precondition for being able to practice still today - after nearly three centruies - the tradional manufacturing methods of Meissen porcelain in the areas of forming, shaping, and decorating.
Since the 18th century, the factory's own inhouse education and training facility assures succession in the crafts. Without the consistent preservation of its characteristic manual craftmanship, the image and reputation of Meissen porcelain would have long since dimmed and faded into history.
Since the 18th century, the modelers and pattern makers engaged in making porcelain had to be familiar with very special moulding techniques originally derived from old handicrafts such as that of the potter, which they then had to adapt, modify, and change to suit the new materials. This always had to include the decision of how a figurine, a group of figures, or a vessel should be structured so that, in the end, it could be made from a negative mould and fired at high temperatures without deformation. As time progressed, the manual, artistic, and technical manufacturing process of porcelains was mastered more comprehensively with ever increasing virtuosity. Shaping of the objects became ever more complex and finely differentiated. Eventually, almost anything could be made: Table services, figurines, groups of figures, candlesticks, clock housings, consoles, tables, mirror frames, and other knick-knacks.