About Us

Special China is a family run ceramic decorating business nestling on the beautiful rural borders of Cheshire, Shropshire and Wales. We specialise in creating lasting mementos of any special occasion. We provide a warm and friendly service developed with schools, clubs and small companies in mind. All of our products are designed and decorated in house.

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A Bit Of History

John Owen of Exeter traded in ceramics for over 35 years and in more recent times used the Special China name for access to the website and on the bottom of all of our mugs & plates.

In 2013 the decision was made to move over to the sole use of the Special China name as we feel it describes so well what we do...

making Special China for those special moments.

To celebrate the new name we re-launched the website and designed a distinctive logo and backstamp.

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What we do

We design, print and decorate using traditional methods, firing the china at temperatures of around 800°C so that the printed decoration melds to the original glaze producing a durable & dishwasher safe finish.

Decorating fine bone china is our forte, providing a range of services to suit your individual needs.

If you have an idea about how you can use fine china products then we can help you turn your thoughts into a quality mug, tankard, plate or any one of the other types of ware that we can supply.

We understand that if you have a special day looming or a big event you need to promote you are likely to be very busy juggling many tasks. We pride ourselves in offering a friendly service & helpful advice to make your purchase of special china a pleasant experience.

Our in house designer will be pleased to assist you with any queries or questions you may have, no matter how big or small. We treat every order and enquiry as unique, tailoring our skills towards your individual requirements.

You might like to settle down with a nice brew for the next bit but it does give some background to the types of decoration available. We find it really interesting as we love what we do!

Silkscreen Printing:

We are able to print many designs in house using silk screen printing. This is a centuries old craft that uses a woven mesh and ink blocking stencils to produce clear quality prints for ceramic ware. Each colour is applied using a different screen to eventually build up the required image. The same technique is also used in producing cloth materials, quality wallpapers and was used to great effect by artists such as Andy Warhol.

Silk screen printing is perfect for crisp designs in one or two colours. This is our preferred method of printing if your design is suitable. Due to the layering of colours there can sometimes be a miss aligning of pattern which can be used to desirable effect on more rustic art work. Pantone colour matching is possible; however please be aware that colours do look slightly different on bone china rather than on paper owing to it’s translucent nature.

We can also supply silkscreen images that are produced using the same methods but with many more colour variations. You can choose from our available list of pictures (don’t worry it is a long one!) and we can then screen print single or double colour text to make your ware unique.

We can also work with your own multi- coloured designs by using semi-automated printing. This is suitable for large quantities or when the finest quality is more important than cost.

Digital Printing:

This uses a similar process to your home or office printer but requires specially formulated ceramic inks. We usually use this method for painted art works, photos and computer generated logos and designs as it is able to recreate shading and multiple colours whilst allowing smaller quantities to be produced at a reasonable price. It is not possible to match pantone colours with digital printing but we will always work with any original art work submitted to try and get the best colour match available.

Digital mugs 2

Dye Sublimation:

This method is used if you want vibrant full colour designs or images in very small quantities but it is not suitable for fine detail and delicate lines. This process, unlike silkscreen and digital printing, uses dyes instead of ceramic colours and fires at low temperatures of around 200°C so the picture sits on the top of the glaze. The print is not adamant and will degrade with time; this tends to result in a less durable product. Special China does not offer this type of decoration as we feel it is unsuitable for the type of ware that we like to create.

China Decorating:

At Special China we offer a wide range of decorating options. We offer a service that allows you to customise your ware to create that unique lasting memento. Details on the handles, bottoms and insides of ware are all achievable. We are always open to your suggestions and ideas so don’t be put off by trying to limit your creativity to standard positioning or decorating. Whether your design takes up the whole of the mug or is just a modest crest or shield we will find the best options & production methods to suit you. To give your memento that extra special look we provide a gilding service. This is the application of gold or platinum normally to the rim or handle.

Your Artwork:

Special China offers you a service that will allow you to take your artwork, sketches and ideas and bring them to life on fine bone china. We are able to adjust your logos, designs, and artwork and to make them meet your requirements. Don’t worry if you haven’t finalised an idea, our in house designer will work with you to help you to achieve your vision.

Or Your Words & Our Picture

If you feel less creative we can print your text or logo and add it to a silk screen printed picture that you select from our gallery. We have an extensive selection so just name a category, such as sportsmen or flowers, and we can let you choose. This is currently popular with weddings, christenings and small business promotional ware.