“White gold” has been produced in Vienna for nearly 300 years. This fine porcelain is still made entirely by hand, and one can observe the production from up close on a tour of the Porcelain Manufactory Augarten.
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. www.augarten.at