The ceramic figurine children crafted by Hummel Manufaktur of Roedental have made the M.I.Hummel name famous throughout the world. The manufacturing process requires 75 individual steps for the simplest figurines, and up to nearly 500 steps for the most complex pieces.
Approval of the clay model
At the beginning of the production process, a clay model is sculpted, the motif inspired by the artwork of Maria Innocentia Hummel. The model is made of a black plastic and fine clay material. Each figurine is subject to the stringent approval of the Convent of Siessen and the Hummel family.
Making the molds
M.I. Hummel figurines cannot be cast in one piece. A mother mold is made for each individual piece. Working molds are then created from the mother mold.
Casting and assembling
Liquid ceramic slip is poured into the working molds. Then the cast ceramic pieces are removed from the molds, reassembled, and the seams smoothed out.
During the first firing, known as the bisque firing, the kiln reaches a temperature of 1140 ℃ (2084 ℉)
After the first firing, a liquid, water-based glaze is applied to the figurine.
During the second, or glaze firing, the kiln reaches a temperature of 1080 ℃ (1976 ℉).
A palette of several hundred colors has been developed for M.I.Hummel figurines. The first step in decoration is to paint the faces with tiny brushes. After that, the skin color, rosy cheeks, and ivory colors are applied, followed by clothing and hair decoration.
The third, or décor firing, is at 640 ℃ (1184 ℉).
During the manufacturing process, each figurine undergoes more than 50 quality control checks.