The Ceramic City

Jingdezhen is an incredible city (although the people I talk to would refer to it as a small town- despite the fact that it does house approximately one million people.) The thing I find truly unique here is that porcelain and it's production seem to be the central force and focus of the area even outside of the Pottery Workshop.

We spent a day exploring different areas nearby and found lots of studios and shops of interest.  

 I could not imagine any other place on earth where it would be a common site to see a cart loaded with porcelain being wheeled through the traffic! 

I could not imagine any other place on earth where it would be a common site to see a cart loaded with porcelain being wheeled through the traffic! 

 There is porcelain out drying in every little possible corner when the weather is good.

There is porcelain out drying in every little possible corner when the weather is good.

 A master 'big pot' turner at work. These pots are thrown, turned and trimmed in three or four parts and then joined while trimming on the wheel. Here he is putting on the base which is a thick heavy disk to counterweight the vases height and make it stable.

A master 'big pot' turner at work. These pots are thrown, turned and trimmed in three or four parts and then joined while trimming on the wheel. Here he is putting on the base which is a thick heavy disk to counterweight the vases height and make it stable.

 A little factory selling bisquewares.

A little factory selling bisquewares.

 A little shop selling glazed porcelain vases for decoration.

A little shop selling glazed porcelain vases for decoration.

 Greenware pots line the train tracks in one of the throwing and casting areas. 

Greenware pots line the train tracks in one of the throwing and casting areas. 

 On our way through the 'tool shop area' to 'decal street'. It seems there is a street, area or ally for any particular thing you may need which makes perfect sense and saves on driving right around the city. So far I have experienced the 'big tile street', 'over glaze street', 'scooter street' and even the 'traditional wooden stand area' just to name a few.

On our way through the 'tool shop area' to 'decal street'. It seems there is a street, area or ally for any particular thing you may need which makes perfect sense and saves on driving right around the city. So far I have experienced the 'big tile street', 'over glaze street', 'scooter street' and even the 'traditional wooden stand area' just to name a few.

 Finding plates in another little greenware factory for our traditional classes coming up.

Finding plates in another little greenware factory for our traditional classes coming up.

 Shopping for greenware in one of the many casting factories. There are just so many to choose from! 

Shopping for greenware in one of the many casting factories. There are just so many to choose from! 

Exploring the PWS

We were lucky enough to arrive in the middle of the Chinese holiday for Labour day. This meant the Pottery Workshop was super buzzing with lots of people coming for the markets. It was so busy that our driver had to stop the van we were traveling in and get out to move parked scooters that were blocking our path. There were people, porcelain and scooters everywhere! 

    The front gate to the Pottery Workshop full with the holiday crowd. 

 

The front gate to the Pottery Workshop full with the holiday crowd. 

   This is the view looking out over the Pottery Workshop buildings from the studio. Really not a bad place to be spending my next 9 weeks!  

This is the view looking out over the Pottery Workshop buildings from the studio. Really not a bad place to be spending my next 9 weeks!  

    There are piles of Porcelain everywhere. Even in the street.

 

There are piles of Porcelain everywhere. Even in the street.

 We were able to visit plenty of Artisan studios and see the craftsmen at work.

We were able to visit plenty of Artisan studios and see the craftsmen at work.

   This is a throwing studio where the thrower and turner work side by side. If you take a pot thrown by someone other then the turners partner he will not know how to turn it. They are trained together over 3 years where the first year consists of wedging clay and cleaning the studio. 

This is a throwing studio where the thrower and turner work side by side. If you take a pot thrown by someone other then the turners partner he will not know how to turn it. They are trained together over 3 years where the first year consists of wedging clay and cleaning the studio. 

 A large tile workshop. It was very impressive to see two men roll out a tile over 2meters wide in what would be the size of a standard single car garage.

A large tile workshop. It was very impressive to see two men roll out a tile over 2meters wide in what would be the size of a standard single car garage.

 Artist Charlotte Cornaton in the big tile factory. 

Artist Charlotte Cornaton in the big tile factory. 

 This lady applies on-glaze decals all day long!

This lady applies on-glaze decals all day long!

 We could have been eaten by a dog! Apparently this sign say do not enter and that there is a guard dog. Thank goodness for our translators! 

We could have been eaten by a dog! Apparently this sign say do not enter and that there is a guard dog. Thank goodness for our translators! 

 This is the super crazy amazing glaze shop! It has every sort of glaze you could ever dream of with a room full of great samples. You then fill out a form with how many half kilos you would like and they then fill water bottles with already mixed liquid glazes that are ready to be sprayed. I hope I can remember which each one is as their description is all in Chinese. 

This is the super crazy amazing glaze shop! It has every sort of glaze you could ever dream of with a room full of great samples. You then fill out a form with how many half kilos you would like and they then fill water bottles with already mixed liquid glazes that are ready to be sprayed. I hope I can remember which each one is as their description is all in Chinese. 

 Me carrying home a selection of glazes! 

Me carrying home a selection of glazes! 

 The beautiful view I get from my bedroom window which is over looking the Pottery Workshop courtyard. 

The beautiful view I get from my bedroom window which is over looking the Pottery Workshop courtyard. 

 A traditional factory ceiling.

A traditional factory ceiling.

 This is the clay factory where they are making the 'Big Ware' porcelain which I am trying to use. All the machines are huge including this pug mill. 

This is the clay factory where they are making the 'Big Ware' porcelain which I am trying to use. All the machines are huge including this pug mill. 

 Porcelain wagons ready to roll. 

Porcelain wagons ready to roll. 

 One of the many public kilns. This is a smaller one. Apparently you drop your work off for firing and if they are firing that day you simply pick it up the same time the next day. There is no worrying about firing schedules or temperatures as most of the kilns fire a standard high fire and all the porcelain and glazes suits that!

One of the many public kilns. This is a smaller one. Apparently you drop your work off for firing and if they are firing that day you simply pick it up the same time the next day. There is no worrying about firing schedules or temperatures as most of the kilns fire a standard high fire and all the porcelain and glazes suits that!