We have Friedrich II of Prussia’s passion for porcelain to thank for the fact that the Königliche Porzellan Manufaktur has been in Berlin for over 250 years. He supported the founding of the company from the beginning and took over in 1763 as payment from the heavily indebted previous owner.
Friedrich II also brought us the cobalt blue sceptre, with which each new piece is marked. The company was privatised in 2006 when it was purchased by Berlin banker Jörg Woltmann, who has since cautiously reframed the KPM. Yet everything is still produced without exception at the manufacturer in the heart of Berlin- using minimal, yet high quality materials and good Berlin water.
Today the KPM manufacturing compound in Tiergarten also contains a cafe, a long-term exhibition, and a “join-in manufacturer” where visitors can learn about the complex porcelain production process, as well as one of currently twelve nationwide shops, a factory outlet with second-grade goods, and naturally the production itself.
Almost all of KPM’s collections come with a lifetime guaranty, including series from 1790- despite the fact that many of the originals were irreplaceably lost during war and were newly developed only with great effort.
The “Urbino” service from 1931, fashioned in the spirit of the bauhaus, remains to this day one of the KPM bestsellers in Germany. A large portion of the painted porcelain, on the other hand, is exported. The so-called hard porcelain has no problem with the transportation, as it’s twice-baked for 22 hours each time.
During this process the porcelain shrinks considerably and reforms itself, which needs to be taken into account when finishing the forms and makes the development of new products unbelievably complicated. But the creation of porcelain itself is also incredibly elaborate.
Countless photos on KPM’s just recently relaunched online shop give an idea of how elaborate the individual steps of production are. We also really like the worlds of inspiration, which help the undecided on the search for the right collection and turn shopping into a virtual experience.
Even without purchasing anything, a trip to the website is worth it given all of the great information available at www.kpm-berlin.com, including on their work in unusual cooperation with car manufacturer Bugatti, fashion label Bottega Veneta, and sound system producer Burmester. — Crazy, in how many ways porcelain can be used!