In our last entry on Chinese Porcelain we listed the three ways of painting on porcelain, namely: youxiacai, painting below the glaze; youzhongcai, painting in between glazes; and youshangcai, painting above the glaze. While all ways of painting Chinese porcelain fall under one or more of these three, there are many more styles of painting, of which we only touched on in our last entry. Qinghua 青花, cobalt blue patterns/paintings applied as youxiacai to white porcelain, is one famous style mentioned in our last entry. This week we introduce three more famous styles of painted porcelain.
by Siyan and Patrick
This week we look at the different styles and techniques of Chinese porcelain, beginning with the choice of layering for the paint and the glaze. Porcelain artists have a very basic choice to make before they begin to paint their pieces. The choice is whether to use 1) Youxiacai 釉下彩, painting under the glaze; 2) youzhongcai 釉中彩, painting in between glazes; 3) youshangcai 釉上彩, painting on the surface of the glaze. While it may seem unimportant, this choice will dictate what colours can be used, the final appearance of the painting, and even the surface texture of the piece. Each method has its own history and uses.
This blog entry marks the beginning of our series on Chinese Porcelain; its characteristics, types, glazes and patterns. Before we focus on each of these subtopics, we begin as broadly as possible with 4 basic things you need to know about Chinese porcelain.
(This is Part 2 of our interview with Mr. Lee Shanming and the tour of his Ruyao Ceramics Studio on Jingdezhen, China. The first part can be read here.)
After finishing our interview, Mr. Lee offered to give me a tour of his studio, offering a glimpse into the production process. Here are some photos of his studio:
This April, while the people around us were busy with the spring tea harvest, we made a visit to Mr. Lee Shanming’s (李善明) studio in Jingdezhen to see his new spring products, and to take some photos back with us for our blog. Lee Shanming is our featured Ruyao artist. All of the Ruyao Teaware in our shop is handcrafted in his studio in Jingdezhen.
To many tea and traditional pottery lovers, Ru Kiln or Ru Yao 汝窑 is a term that conjures images of a rich, jade like texture, pure and deep hues, and a smooth yet subtly cracked surface. Here is a simple introduction to one of China’s most celebrated ceramic arts, Ru Kiln Pottery.
Jingdezhen Porcelain and the name China
Every Chinese child learns that the country has been making porcelain ceramics as far back as the Tang Dynasty (AD 618 – 907), and that the small town of Jingdezhen ( 景德镇Jingde town) has been the center of this craft. While Chinese porcelain is also famous worldwide, few outside of China may know the importance of this town or have even heard its name.