Seeing the cones

I’ve seen a few techniques for seeing into the kiln at high temperature.  An old friend of mine still prefers blowing into the peephole, unfortunately on more than one occasion it has resulted in the particles resting in the peephole to be blown in as well, settling on the ware.  The Jingdezhen firing masters I’ve met… Continue reading Seeing the cones

Yaoli Village and Raonan Outdoor Ceramics Museum

A water wheel powers large hammer mills used for crushing porcelain stone

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… Continue reading Yaoli Village and Raonan Outdoor Ceramics Museum

Digital Scales for Weighing Glazes

Calibrating the Ohaus SP202 and SP4001 digital scales

After years of using simple balance scales to measure out glazes, I finally decided to invest in a better setup. I couldn’t find any triple-beam scales for sale in Jingdezhen, so instead I purchased a cheap 200-gram digital scale from a local shop.  I was delighted at how much simpler and faster it was to mix up… Continue reading Digital Scales for Weighing Glazes

Photographing Artwork

Note:  In the following photographs I only used the most basic lighting setups.  Even using natural light, you can take advantage of reflectors to highlight shadows and produce fill light.  Try searching “product photography lighting” if you are looking for information about advanced lighting. Natural Lighting The PBS Art21 documentary episode “Memory” contains a segment… Continue reading Photographing Artwork

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Simple Microscopy for Ceramics

Supereyes digital USB microscope connected to laptop and using Quicktime to view a small Qing wine cup.

The first day of Ecology class we went out to a local pond, gathered water, and returned to the lab.  I’ll never forget the amazement of viewing the water under a microscope, exploring that hidden world. I finally got my first microscope for viewing ceramics.  There are multiple hand-held digital microscopes available now, I went with… Continue reading Simple Microscopy for Ceramics

An old Porcelain Stone Mine

Unprocessed porcelain stone

It’s surprising to me how often archaeological discoveries seem to be made in Jingdezhen, but then I remember that wherever I walk in this place there are deep layers of shards beneath my feet. A friend of mine was given samples from a recently found porcelain stone mine dating from the Five Dynasties Period.  Apparently the find has not gone… Continue reading An old Porcelain Stone Mine

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.

Omega HH506RA Pyrometer

In the future I’ll be adding articles to this website.  The first article that came to mind was a review of an excellent pyrometer I recently purchased, the Omega HH506RA.

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New kiln

Completed gas kiln with steel frame and stainless steel panels

Steel-frame fiber propane gas kiln, six venturi burners, single shelf (64x64cm).

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