Traditional Dunzi Production in Yaoli, China

Yaoli was a porcelain production center from the Song Dynasty (ca. 960) through the middle of the Ming Dynasty (ca. 1600). More than 30 workshops and several ancient kilns from that era have been excavated. Dunzi (chinastone feldspar / petunze), a porcelain and glaze ingredient, is still processed on the outskirts of town. While high production techniques are utilized in Jingdezhen, the traditional method is favored in Yaoli. 

Excavated kiln at Yaoli.
 

Dunzi is quarried nearby, broken into pieces, then ground into a fine powder with water-powered trip-hammers. 

A water wheel drives the long, wooden axle. Wooden pegs (in center back) trip the stone-tipped stampers as the axle rotates. 
 

Powdered Dunzi is washed, the slurry is passed through several tanks, then it is formed into blocks and dried. Sheds with walls of drying Dunzi blocks.
 

The tranquil town of Yaoli has preserved much of its past. Yaoli Clan House Cart used to transport Dunzi on exhibit at the Hongyi Hall Museum.

Tang Yong (an MFA student at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute) is an excellent bilingual guide. Please contact him for more information about Yaoli. You may also enjoy reading my Made in China article in the July/August 2008 issue of CERAMIC REVIEW.

LINKS:
Throwing Classical Porcelain in Jingdezhen, China, by Steve Brousseau
Jingdezhen Jiayang Ceramics Company
The Pottery Workshop in Shanghai
Cloisonne enameling in Beijing
Printing in China

Capelo
Ceramics of Mexico
Mexican Ceramist, Angelica Escarcega Rodriguez
Mexican Ceramist, José Luis Méndez Ortega
Guevara Ceramics of Mexico
Pottery of Western Cameroon  
Ceramics of Ubeda, Spain   
Tiles and Ceramics of Seville, Spain  
Tiles and Ceramics of Talavera de la Reina, Spain  
Monje Ceramics of Lora del Rio, Spain
Earthenware Tiles of Portugal  
Majolica Ceramics of Caldas da Rainha, Portugal  
Roof Tiles in Bali, Indonesia  
Carol Ventura's Home Page 

The Traditional Crafts of Porcelain Making in Jingdezhen, by Bai Ming, Jiangxi Fine Arts Publishing House, 2002, ISBN 7-80580-887-2, is excellent, but difficult to find outside of China.

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Photographs by Carol Ventura and Patty Dike Haag.  Web page and text by Carol Ventura.