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.

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 Raonan ceramics museum
A water wheel powers large hammer mills used for crushing porcelain stone
A water wheel powers large hammer mills used for crushing porcelain stone
The crushed stone powder is washed, mixed, and dried in large pits.
The porcelain paste is formed into bricks and air-dried.”
Large piles of waste saggars and shards surround the kiln sites.

Hutian Workshop

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 is used to consistently make the porcelain bricks.
Porcelain bricks are air-dried on wooden racks.
A shrine at the mine.
Near the porcelain stone mine, kiln saggars are made.

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.

CCTV Link

Baidu Baike Link