Jingdezhen

  • Jingdezhen

    Yaoli Village and Raonan Outdoor Ceramics Museum

    Yaoli Ancient Village (瑶里古镇) is a fairly well-known tourist destination located about 1 1/2 hours by car from Jingdezhen.

    During the past few years I have visited the village a handful of times, and each time I’m even more disappointed by the continuous development, poor management, and flocks of tourists.

    But the countryside around Yaoli is beautiful.  If you continue driving past the ancient village you will find numerous small villages with restaurants offering local cuisine.  Drive up the mountain and you should come across wonderful views of the valleys as well as waterfalls.

    A village near Yaoli

    An ancient bridge in the countryside

    One of the waterfalls to be found in the mountains

     

    Yaoli is also the home of a type of porcelain stone known as “glaze stone”.  This stone is a major component of traditional Jingdezhen glazes.

    There is a very nice outdoor museum in Yaoli called Raonan (绕南陶瓷主题园区) which runs along a small river.  The river powers hammer mills that continuously crush Yaoli porcelain stone.  There are also ancient dragon kilns and even pottery wheels where you can try throwing Jingdezhen porcelain.

    The river running through the ceramics museum

    A water wheel powers large hammer mills

    The hammer mills crush porcelain stone

    The crushed stone powder is washed, mixed, and dried in large pits.

    The porcelain paste is formed into bricks and air-dried.

    One of the remaining dragon kiln ruins. Chambers can be seen at the bottom of the kiln.

    Another dragon kiln at the Yaoli site.

    Large piles of waste saggars and shards surround the kiln sites.

  • Jingdezhen

    Under Pressure

    Reduction a bit strong at the beginning

  • Jingdezhen

    One ton

    One ton of porcelain stone delivered to my studio. It's only recently that I've become confident enough to make such a large investment.

  • Jingdezhen

    Hutian Workshop

    Carving using traditional tools on a meiping vase form.

    This workshop employs a type of thick slip-casting as well as coil building in molds.

    Bowls are removed from molds, trimmed, and then carved.

    This studio also copies sculptures. The elements of the sculptures are slip-casted and press molded.

    After firing, most of the porcelain goes through a process of antiquing.

    Some finished items.

  • Jingdezhen

    Sanbao Porcelain Stone and Saggar Kiln

    Nestled in the beautiful mountains near Jingdezhen is Sanbao, a traditional source of porcelain stone. Porcelain stone comes in many types characterized by the local geography. Sanbao stone is primarily used in making porcelain bodies, but it can also be used in glazes.

    Worker removing porcelain stone from the Sanbao mine (May 2012)

    This wooden tool ensures equally sized porcelain bricks.

    Porcelain bricks are air-dried on wooden racks.

    A shrine at the mine.

    A workshop near the porcelain stone mine specializes in making kiln saggars.

  • Jingdezhen

    Cat nap

  • Jingdezhen

    Porcelain Stone

    Tests of local porcelain stone, glaze stone and glaze ash at a local materials shop in Jingdezhen.

  • Jingdezhen

    Glaze Ash

  • Jingdezhen

    Chinese Cones

    I can't but help think my cones are giving me the finger..

  • Jingdezhen

    Gaolin Mountain

    The traditional source of Kaolin clay used in Chinese porcelain is Gaolin mountain.  There’s actually not much to see at the park there- all the kaolin clay was mined out a very long time ago.  But the mountain itself is beautiful, and the nearby villages still offer a glimpse into “old China”.

    The village at Kaolin mountain.

    Although there’s not much to see related to ceramic history, the mountain is beautiful.

    One of the old mine shafts at Kaolin mountain.

    A waterwheel fed by one of the mountain streams.

    The old village is quaint and peaceful.

    Traditional houses are found in the smaller villages around Kaolin mountain.

  • Craft

    纪录片《china-瓷》

    It’s said that you can tell how long a foreigner has been in China by the number of appearances they have on Chinese television.  I’m not doing well, I guess, because I’ve only been in one documentary.

    “China · porcelain” is a documentary about the fascinating history of Chinese export porcelain in the Ming and Qing dynasties, including Chinese porcelain’s influence on world trade, culture, and the economy.
  • Glazes

    The Glaze Sprayer Maker

    Some of the tinsmith's tools

    Templates for glaze canisters

    Each type of glaze canister has a specific application, from spraying large sculptures to detailed underglaze application.

  • Jingdezhen

    New Studio

    The building had been abandoned for a number of years when we convinced the landlord to let us rent it

    The building had been abandoned for a number of years when we convinced the landlord to let us rent it

    Two months later, renovations complete.

    Two months later, renovations complete.

  • Jingdezhen

    The Model