Verrerie Cristallerie d'Arques started out as a small family crystal and glassmaking shop in Arques, Frances in 1825. By the 21st century, the business had grown to become the world leader in tableware manufacture. The Durand family still owns the privately held company that began producing Acropal plates and other dishware in 1958. From 2000 to 2016 the company ceased making Arcopal. Today Acropal glass dishware is being manufactured once again.
The Acropal Tempered Glass Dishware
Acropal glass dinnerware, the company's opaque glass dishware line, first appeared in 1958, according to Arcopal. The introduction of this dishware line occurred 10 years after the company introduced its flagship brand Luminarc. The latter is durable and attractive dishware made from transparent glass. Acropal dishware is known for its distinctive milky white opaque look.
The Acropal line of dishware consists of opal glass. This Acropal material is known for its durability and strength. That durability is a result of the manufacturing process. During production, the dishware is heated up slowly, and then cooled quickly. This process results in dishware coated with a durable and beautiful fire-glazed finish.
The Acropal line of dishes is known for its attractive period pieces. During the 16-year period of time the line wasn't being produced, many vintage pieces became collector items. With its milky white opal glassware, Arcopal represents one of the first industrial revolutions in glass manufacturing. The product was discontinued for a time when the company changed its name to Arc International in 2000.
Opal Glass Dishware
When the the crystal and glassmaking company developed its Acropal line, it did so on the heels of innovation that allowed the manufacturer to create the opaque opal dishware en masse. The company introduced mechanization to the production of this well-known glassware line, gleaned from trips to the U.S. that resulted in heat-resistant, but light, opaque dishware that the company named "opal" dishware. With its nonporous heat-resistance, Acropal dishware is dishwasher- and microwave-safe. While the glass dishware is durable, it can break. When it does break, it does so into small pieces.
Thin But Strong Dishes
The thin, but strong Acropal dishware is fully tempered glassware that is break- and chip-resistant. The line also includes Acropal bakeware that can be cleaned in the dishwasher, baked in the oven or used as microwave cookware. The glass dishware and bakeware claims strength five times over that of porcelain china, because of the way the dishware is made. The company included Acropal opal dishware in its Luminarc and Arcoroc lines, made solely for restaurants and catering firms.
Colorful Patterns and Styles
For a 16 year period from 2000 to 2016, the company no longer made the Acropal line. However, you could and still can find pieces in multiple patterns on retail and auction sites. While Acropal dishware has a white base, the company also created over the years colorful patterns featuring floral designs. Some patterns include a single border rimming the plate or bowl, while others have patterns similar to those found on porcelain china. At the time of publication, you could expect to pay anywhere from $5 and up for Acropal plates. You can buy 12 pieces for as little as $25, depending on the pattern.
As a native Californian, artist, journalist and published author, Laurie Brenner began writing professionally in 1975. She has written for newspapers, magazines, online publications and sites. Brenner graduated from San Diego's Coleman College.