A Jingdezhen gas kiln filled with a variety of porcelain wares being crash cooled. Kilns in Jingdezhen are often fired on a daily basis, being loaded, fired, and unloaded in less than 24 hours. Besides resulting in brighter glazes, crash cooling speeds the firing cycle.
Perhaps my favorite two pictures of Jingdezhen.
An on-glaze painting of Mao Zedong in progress.
A specialized cart, banche (板车), with its load of porcelain clay. The sack tied to the cart’s undercarriage typically contains moving blankets for transporting fragile ware, plastic tarps to protect against rain, and straps for tying down loads. Porcelain production in Jingdezhen would immediately halt without the tireless efforts of the carriers who transport materials and ceramics through every stage… Continue reading The carrier
Sculptures being dried in the Jingdezhen Sculpture Factory. In the top photograph, plaster molds used to build the sculptures can be seen lying on the ground. A single sculpture may require the use of dozens of plaster molds. The sculpture in the bottom right image has already been sprayed with glaze and is ready for… Continue reading Drying
The side of a public kiln in the Sculpture Factory. For quick drying, unfired porcelain clay sculptures are placed on top of the kiln while plaster molds are placed on the bottom. On the side of the kiln are written various people’s mobile numbers, many of which are advertisements for services. For instance, a craftsperson… Continue reading The Kiln Board
Porcelain making in Jingdezhen is a highly-specialized craft that requires its own tools. Here, a brush maker goes door-to-door selling brushes in a variety of shapes and sizes, each for a specific function, from painting blue and white qinghua to washing unfired forms before glazing.
One of the many forms of shipment throughout the city of Jingdezhen. Here, a bicycle carrier is transporting fired vases to an on-glaze enamel painter.
Mao Zedong enjoying a smoke while queuing in line to be fired at the Sculpture Factory. In the foreground are temperature “witness” cones in clay support pads which are placed in the kiln and bend upon reaching a certain temperature. In the West, ceramicists often fire a kiln using multiple sets of cones of different temperatures… Continue reading Mao
These stamps are used for on-glaze enamel decorations on porcelain sculptures.
I have very fond memories of this room, about 64 square meters on the top floor with a tin roof. Absolutely unbearable in both Summer and Winter. But that time was filled with excitement and exploration.
Masking off areas of sculpture for spraying glaze.
There are a number of bookstores in Jingdezhen that cater to ceramicists. Books featuring antique porcelain, paintings, and painting techniques are especially popular.
Shards for sale at the Monday morning antique market in Jingdezhen. These shards are typical of the market, representing a variety of authentic and imitation wares from a variety of time periods and kilns.