ECO-GRÈS® Terra Nova® fine stoneware

With the LURCH Terra Nova® collection, discover the combination of premium quality and profound environmental awareness through the unique ECO-GRÉS® fine stoneware from Portugal. This label promises not only aesthetic excellence, but also the certainty that all products are made from non-hazardous recycled materials. The result of intensive research in collaboration with a Portuguese university, ECO-GRÉS® is a statement of environmental friendliness. The unique manufacturing process conserves resources, optimises energy efficiency and permanently reduces the ecological footprint. With Terra Nova®, LURCH stands for a sustainable way of life that combines style and elegance with environmental awareness.

On this page, we provide you with comprehensive information about the materials used for our collection, manufacturing processes and additional knowledge about ceramics and porcelain stoneware.

Ceramic basics

Ceramics are created by mixing certain materials such as clay with water and then moulding them at normal room temperature. After moulding, the objects are dried and then fired at a very high temperature to make them hard and durable. The production of ceramics is one of the oldest techniques known to mankind, especially in the pottery trade. People began to use ceramics to store food, and over time the art of moulding clay into different shapes developed. Nowadays, ceramics are not only important in art, but also have many technical applications.

Ceramic raw materials

Ceramic raw materials form the basis for the variety and quality of ceramic products. These basic raw materials include silicate raw materials, including clay, kaolins, clay minerals and their mixtures, as well as non-plastic raw materials. The group of oxide raw materials includes aluminium oxide, beryllium oxide and aluminium titanate, while non-oxide raw materials include silicon carbide, silicon nitride, aluminium nitride, boron nitride, boron carbide and tungsten carbide.

Manipulated ceramic raw materials also play a role, which are given specific properties through targeted modifications. Other additives, such as fluxes, plasticisers and other additives, are also used to influence the processing properties and final quality of the ceramic products. The skilful combination of these raw materials enables the production of a wide range of ceramic materials, from traditional pottery to high-tech industrial products.

Ceramic raw materials for bakery products

Ceramic products in the kitchenware sector fall into either the "sintered products" or "earthenware" categories. These two categories are in turn divided into various sub-categories, the terms of which are widely recognised. The overarching term "ceramics" serves as a collective term for all products made from non-metallic, inorganic materials. The exact material composition of the basic raw materials varies depending on the subclass.

The two main classes, "sintered products" and "earthenware", are subdivided into further common subclasses with their material designations:

Sintered stoneware:

  • Stoneware
  • Porcelain

Earth good:

  • Earthenware
  • Pottery

Each of these subclasses has specific properties and applications, making them suitable for different purposes in the manufacture of ceramic products for the kitchen. Stoneware and porcelain from the sintered ware class as well as earthenware and earthenware from the earthenware class cover a wide range of needs in the area of baked goods and kitchen utensils.

Difference between earthenware and stoneware

Earthenware and stoneware represent two different qualities and applications in the world of ceramics. Stoneware, a form of sintered material, offers a number of advantages that go beyond its impermeability to water. In addition to its durability and superior heat resistance, it also has a significantly lower susceptibility to visual cracks in the glaze. This is due to the dense firing or sintering of the body, which is made from a mixture of clays and fine minerals such as quartz, kaolin and feldspar, which contain a high proportion of aluminium oxide and iron oxide. Stoneware therefore not only offers the practical function of water impermeability, but also a more robust structure than earthenware, which fulfils the requirements of various applications.

In contrast, earthenware is categorised as "earthenware". Here, the body does not sinter as densely as in stoneware and the material is not completely waterproof. The base material is clay with coarser minerals, including quartz, kaolin, feldspar and additional materials such as calcite. The firing temperature is between 970 and 1,300 degrees Celsius. To make earthenware vessels impermeable to water, they are coated with a glaze after the first firing and fired again.

Earthenware scores highly thanks to its cost-effective production and its versatility in the household and as a building material. It is made impermeable to water with a special glaze. Stoneware, on the other hand, can be easily sanded, cut and polished after firing. Even without a glaze, it remains impermeable to water and is used in various household applications and as a building material. Both offer a wide range of possibilities, adapted to different needs and preferences.

Advantages of stoneware over earthenware

Stoneware crockery impresses with its superior durability compared to the stoneware variant, which breaks more easily. In addition, stoneware crockery is more heat-resistant than its earthenware counterpart. The more porous nature of earthenware compared to stoneware emphasises the robustness of the latter. Furthermore, due to its open-pored structure, earthenware tends to develop visual cracks in the glaze, a problem that does not occur to the same extent in stoneware. Stoneware therefore proves to be the more reliable and durable choice, especially in terms of breaking strength, heat resistance and structural integrity.

  • Stoneware is tougher and less prone to breakage.
  • Stoneware shows superior heat resistance.
  • Stoneware is less prone to visual cracks in the glaze due to its finer structure.

Glazes

Glazes play a decisive role in the finishing of ceramic products such as earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. In contrast to the crystalline, porous base material, they form a glass-like, closed and waterproof surface layer. Chemically speaking, glazes, like other types of glass, are made up of a mixture of mineral powders, occasionally enriched with certain elements such as silver or gold.

The components of the glaze form a layer consisting of a mixture of different oxides, which combine with each other and with the base material to form a homogeneous glass layer. Glazes are not only applied to improve the aesthetic effect, as is the case with coloured and effect glazes, but also serve to optimise mechanical and electrical properties. This can include, for example, a smooth instead of rough surface for easier cleaning. Glazes therefore not only contribute to the beauty, but also to the functionality and durability of ceramic products.

LURCH premium quality with ECO-GRÈS®

For the LURCH Terra Nova® collection, we use the truly unique ECO-GRÉS® fine stoneware from our partner in Portugal. This has outstanding aesthetic qualities and embodies a profoundly environmentally friendly approach. The ECO-GRÉS® label not only promises exceptional product quality, but also the certainty that they are made from non-hazardous recycled materials, including ceramic surplus and other environmentally friendly additives. The result is a new, completely environmentally friendly raw material that redefines the boundaries of sustainability.

All ECO-GRÉS® products are of the highest quality, food-safe and comply with international standards. ECO-GRÉS® is committed to transforming the EU into a "recycling society" in line with European Directives 2006/12/CE and 2008/98/CE. This commitment is reflected not only in words, but also in deeds when it comes to contributing to a sustainable future.

ECO-GRÉS® is the result of an impressive research endeavour developed in close collaboration with a local Portuguese university. The result: a refined (recycled) raw material with numerous environmental benefits. This unique material conserves natural resources by greatly reducing the extraction of new, natural raw materials. At the same time, the entire manufacturing process optimises energy efficiency, which helps to reduce the ecological footprint. The use of ECO-GRÉS® not only promotes environmental sustainability, but also contributes to health and safety by reducing the amount of waste that would otherwise be sent to landfill. ECO-GRÉS® is not just fine stoneware - it's a sustainable way of living that enriches the future of our environment with style and elegance. This is what LURCH stands for.

How and from what is Terra Nova® fine stoneware made?

The production process starts at our partner factory in Portugal, where carefully collected clay waste is combined with other materials to stabilise the final composition. This specially recycled clay waste currently accounts for around 25% of the total quantity, and pre-consumer clay waste is also sourced from external suppliers.

This is where ECO-GRÉS® is created, consisting of an impressive 90% recycled materials (pre-consumer) and other recycled materials. The entire conversion process of these clay rejects into ECO-GRÉS® goes through a precise sequence of steps that not only guarantee first-class quality, but also focus on the environmental aspect.

Uniquely, the entire production cycle takes place in the same factory, which means not only efficiency but also a significant reduction in the ecological footprint. The short distances within the manufacturing process emphasise the commitment to environmentally friendly production.

But that's not all. The finishing touch is the application of glazes, a crucial step for the aesthetic perfection of ECO-GRÉS® and our Terra Nova® collection. This is done in a vacuum process in which excess is collected directly and 100% reused or recycled. This closes the circle of sustainability - not only in the material itself, but also in each individual work step. ECO-GRÉS® is not just porcelain stoneware; it is a statement of environmental awareness that shines with well thought-out manufacturing processes and innovative recycling approaches. Welcome to the future of porcelain stoneware.

Uniquely sustainable production

In the midst of the increasing desire for sustainable growth, our Portuguese partner has not only recognised this, but has made it a real priority. Its deep-rooted commitment goes far beyond recycling. The responsibility to protect the environment and minimise the ecological footprint is not just an obligation, but a constantly evolving task. For precisely these reasons, we at LURCH AG have made a conscious decision in favour of this partner.

This partner does everything in its power to take measures to protect the environment, and not just superficially, but in depth. This commitment is reflected in two fundamental pillars: sustainable production and the resulting sustainable products.

Concrete measures are the key to realising this commitment:

  • Environmentally friendly, innovative and energy-efficient industrial plants: state-of-the-art technologies not only ensure efficiency, but also environmental compatibility.
  • Renewable energies (photovoltaics): A step towards green energy to further minimise the environmental footprint.
  • Waste management strategies and recycling processes: All waste is seen as an opportunity and fed back into the production process.
  • Advanced water treatment processes and reduction of water consumption: Water, a precious resource, is used and treated with care.
  • Use of recycled and recyclable packaging: The environmental impact goes beyond the product to the packaging.
  • New synergies with other companies: Surplus ceramics are not regarded as waste, but as a valuable by-product that is fed back into the production cycle.
  • Modern processes such as single-firing production: energy efficiency is achieved through innovative production methods that also reduce emissions into the atmosphere.
  • Reuse of the heat already generated by the ovens: A closed cycle in which nothing is wasted, but everything, even the heat from the ovens, is utilised sensibly.
  • Special projects such as ECO-GRÉS®: A prime example of our consistent focus on developing environmentally friendly products and innovations.

These measures illustrate that our partner not only manufactures sustainable products for us, but also makes a real contribution to protecting our environment by continuously improving its production processes. This is about more than just ceramics - it's about shaping a sustainable future. With our LURCH Terra Nova® casserole dishes and bowls, we're now taking this path together.


Terra Nova® Products