Austria’s presidents dine from tableware from Augarten, guests of the state receive this fine porcelain as an official gift, and travellers splurge on the expensive vases and figurines to take home as quintessentially Austrian souvenirs. With precise craftsmanship and sophisticated artistic design – today, new series are designed by internationally known designers – Augarten unites tradition with a contemporary approach to art.
The manufactory, where all Augarten porcelain is produced, is situated in Vienna’s oldest Baroque gardens, between outbuildings of Augarten Palace. On weekdays the production facility opens its doors to visitors at 10 a.m.: between firing ovens and towers of half-finished tableware, one can observe the craftsmen as they meticulously assemble Lipizzaner figurines, glaze cups, turn plates, and paint vases with chinoiserie and Biedermeier motifs. But they always find time to chat with the visitors about their work and answer questions. And the best part is: under professional guidance visitors can try their hand at designing their own Augarten porcelain piece – and then take the fired object home with them.
Spring 2011 saw the opening of a new museum as well as a traditional Viennese restaurant, a shop and workrooms for handcraft classes.