The Lomonosov Imperial Porcelain Factory is only open Tuesdays through Fridays and not on Russian holidays, so our only opportunity to tour is a non-Monday American holiday. I think we all know how rare those are! So on veteran's day we honored our men and women in uniform .... by a tour of how artists made pretty things for the czars and how they currently can make pretty things for millionaires. I assure you, the things are VERY pretty.
I didn't take a single damn picture though. Ugh! I even had the camera with me. See, there was a miscommunication and I thought the tour would be an hour, as the tour I attended 2 years ago was about that long I think ... but we got a tour of the Porcelain Museum first, which was 1.5 hours long and I was pretty sure we weren't to take photos there. The molds for many - most - original pieces are destroyed, so they recreate pieces using 3D imaging and it still can take a year or more to replicate a piece. Also interesting - apparently, Europe first learned the secrets of making porcelain from a French abbot who stole the secrets from China. Those French! That clergy!
Then it was already 12:30 and folks started getting hungry and grumpy so the factory part of the tour got cut short. We did get to see a woman get the liquid whatever-its-called and pour it into the mold to make the shape, but she was trying to be nice and show us what it looks like and didn't wait long enough for it to dry properly and ruined the little piggy :( we also saw a few made-to-order items in their various stages of completion and learn about how many different pieces can come together to make one item.
Then of course, the shopping. I ended up not buying anything because I wanted to get concurrence before spending that much on anything, but it's actually easier to get to than I remember and I will definitely be back.