Moulding Earthenware Technique of Xinjiang
Among the pottery in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of Northwest China, moulding earthenware is the most famous with a history of two thousands years. It sprung up along with the opening of theSilk Road, and the production methods have been passed down orally from generation to generation.
People in Kuoziqiyaerbixi District of Kashgar have engaged in earthenware-making for generations. Made only with local clay, these earthenware pieces have a special natural beauty. Craftsmen mix water and mud and make them into different shapes. After painting and burning, abeautiful, functional earthenware vessel is finished.
Yingjisha is another famous place for earthenware, and the most representative of it is a local pot used for hand-washing, which comes in different shapes.
Earthenware in Yingjisha can be divided into two kinds, one is plain earthenware another is a colored and glazed one. The first is finished after one burning but those with colored glaze should be reburned once they are glazed. Ceramic glaze contains many ingredients such as aluminum, black iron slag, quartz and red soilThe final products have different colors.
The Turpan area also has a long history of making ceramics. The manufacturing procedure includes, preparing soil, stirring mud, covering, kneading, molding, enameling and burning.
These earthenware vessels and their techniques are witnesses to the change between the East and the West on the Silk Road. We can find some with signs ofBuddhism while some have obviously Arabic styles.
By studying the ceramic techniques of the Uygur minority we can have a deeper understanding of the cultural exchange between China and the West.