No other factory in the world still manufactures its products the way that Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg does. In the last place where all products are made entirely by hand the term "manu factum" really does mean what it says. It is only the conscious decision not to use any kind of automated process that has produced the unequalled delicacy and quality of Nymphenburg porcelain. The porcelain paste – which other companies buy in as a semi-finished product – is made on site. Nymphenburg also creates and mixes its own paints; its porcelain painters work without templates. Each item is shaped and painted by hand, each ornament individually applied and all fretwork, be it ever so small, cut with tiny blades into the unfired porcelain. Nymphenburg consciously decided to continue to employ purely manual production methods and, since the 18th century, has refined them almost to perfection.
The Nymphenburg Movie
A unique visual tour through the Nymphenburg ateliers.
Even today, all mechanical equipment at the listed and protected buildings of Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg is powered by the water which runs from the estate's stream – just as it was in the 18th century.
The production of the correct mix of kaolin, feldspar and quartz is an art that Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg has refined over its 260 years.
All round parts – plates, bowls, vases – are made by hand on potter's wheels and, not as in other companies, on roller machines.
The model shop lies at the heart of Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg. This is where the plaster moulds for casting and drying all porcelain parts that are not round are made.
Model & mould archive
More than 30,000 shapes are stored at Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg's model and mould archive.
All pieces that cannot be shaped on the potter's wheel are cast by hand. To this end, the so-called "slip", the liquefied porcelain paste, is filled in plaster moulds, which may be used up to 15 times.
Many figures and objects by Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg that are made up of many parts are given their final shape at the luting shop.
Nymphenburg's paints are famous for their brilliance, purity and rich variety of shades.
In the production of high-quality Nymphenburg porcelain, the process of firing is at least just as important as the balanced composition of the basic materials.
The designs are Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg's signature. Hardly any other manufactory has such a wealth of motifs and opulence in its range.
The technique is still employed to the highest perfection by Nymphenburg's masters to decorate many animal sculptures and figures.
The gilded areas and platinum ornamentations are dull and lacklustre when they leave the kiln and so must subsequently be buffed up with the help of agate and haematite.
Nymphenburg majolica is unique in the world. Nymphenburg has been producing majolica figures and tiles by hand using traditional methods for around 160 years.