6/29/07 - 6/29/07
The Shanghai Museum is a wonderful archive of art and culture with items dating back to 6000 BC and perhaps earlier.
I found the pottery exhibit especially interesting given the many parallels with dad's work.
China potters are proud that in English we call fine porcelain china. Doing so is a recognition of the impressive abilities of ancient potters in this part of the world. The Shanghai Museum has many examples of fine porcelain, as well as other types of pottery created in the different regions of this vast country.
When I was young, dad experimented with the blending of different colored clays that when rolled together formed agate like patterns. Mom would do the same when making beads out of femo. Rolled out snakes of different colors would be combined a larger roll. The roll would then be sliced like a refrigerator cookie and applied to a pot or bead.
The Chinese used a similar method to create ceramic pots that resembled carved wood. The example below is about the size of a small sugar bowl. What appears to be wood grains are actually thin layers of brown and tan colored clays.
I always assumed celadon only referred to the light green color dad uses on some of his pots, but it applies to a range of pale greens and yellows as seen in the picture below.
Ge Ware is characterized by crazing (glaze cracking). The jinsitienxian (gold thread, iron wire) style of Ge Ware has wider black cracks and thinner yellow cracks.
The oil drop glaze is very similar to a black glaze dad refers to as Ten-moku. If I recall correctly, the key ingredient for dad’s Ten-moku glaze was obsidian. I wonder if the Chinese had a similar methodology.
One of the most difficult high fire glazes to achieve is the copper red. In China they call it Jiangdouhong, which literally means “cow-pea red”. Here are a few examples of some reds made during the Qing dynasty.
Similar reds can be found earlier during the Ming dynasty, though these have a slight pinkish hue to them.
Equally striking was this yellow glaze, also from the Ming dynasty.
Towards the end of the exhibit there was a blue platter that reminded me a lot of the dark blue glaze dad uses for many of his pots. If you look closely you can make out the intricate designs, including a ferocious dragon.
Finally there were a few unusual pieces of note. These four vases melded together are odd in shape though the blue and white glaze is typical of china porcelain.
In addition to utilitarian pieces some interesting figures. This old man smoking a pipe caught my attention.
The entire exhibit was a treasure trove following the history of pottery in china through the ages. For an album view of these and other pictures check out the link below.