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Vivid porcelain – Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

Vivid porcelain – Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

The PORZELLAN MANUFAKTUR NYMPHENBURG was founded in 1747 by the Bavarian royal family and has been located on the grounds of Schloss Nymphenburg since 1761. We had the pleasure to visit the traditional workshops, where all work is done by hand and the mills, vats and turntables have been operated since the 18th century with water power from the adjacent stream. In addition, it is the only production site of the manufactory in the world. You will notice that this is a special place every step of the way, in the park, in the workshops and in the soundscape.

In the workshops you can feel the determined but nevertheless calm devotion to the excellence of the crafts. It makes you understand why the PORZELLAN MANUFAKTUR NYMPHENBURG has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2016. It immediately captures one’s curiosity for the know-how behind the products. Traditional craftsmanship is a living and everyday reality here.

The manufactory’s porcelain has always been manufactured according to a strictly secret recipe. The guardian and custodian of this process is a man named Zeus, who continues to produce, portion and store the mass by hand and then transport it to the turning and moulding shops.

Lightscape" collection Ruth Gurvich

The company works with techniques that have been established for over 200 years and are kept alive by various designers in new model variants. During our visit, for example, we were able to watch how bowls for the “Lightscape” collection were made in collaboration with Ruth Gurvich, which look like fine, hand-made paper

The cooperation with international designers and artists is indeed something that characterises the PORZELLAN MANUFAKTUR NYMPHENBURG over the centuries. Among them are names like Ted Muehling, Damien Hirst, Gareth Pugh, Hella Jongerius or Rolf Sachs.

The last stop of our visit was the Bossiererei. This is where many pieces of figures and objects are assembled, small parts are modelled freely and joined together with liquefied porcelain mass (Schlicker) to form chains, leaves, flowers and thorns. Using modelling tools and a calm, trained hand, surfaces get their details and faces their characteristics.

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Photography: Sebastian Berg & Johannes König