One downside of living in a big apartment building, as I do, is that most efforts at curb appeal are irrelevant: I can’t affix a charming house number to my door, and there would be no passersby to see it anyway.
But had I the chance to choose a calling card of sorts for my place, I would go for pared-back, dark, and simple house numbers. These handmade versions from Germany, recently spotted on Manufactum, fit the bill. Surprisingly, they’re made of the same material as Limoges porcelain. But delicate these are not: Finished in a dark charcoal, they’re timeless with a twist of character. Take a look.
In a multi-step manufacturing process, the material first is “vigorously compacted in gypsum molds by hand,” then “wrapped in blotting paper and gently weighted down.” As it dries, the porcelain shrinks about three percent. “Only when they are completely dry are the edges wiped carefully with a damp sponge before being bisque fired at 980 degrees Celsius, after which they are given a color glazing and then fired in the kiln at 1,300 degrees Celsius,” according to Manufactum. “The wiping down with the damp sponge beforehand serves as the first quality check, when even the finest cracks in the material are revealed.”