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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Faience Technology


Faience has been described as “the first high-tech ceramic,” which aptly describes its artificial nature. Unlike conventional, clay-based ceramics, the raw material of faience is a mixture of silica, soda, and lime reacted together during firing to make a new medium, quite different in nature to its constituents. The Egyptians referred to the material as tjehenet (“that which is brilliant or scintillating”), because of its reflective qualities, which they associated with the shiny surfaces of semi-precious stones.

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