Dehua Porcelain Firing
The first Dehua Kiln, whose white porcelain became a representative genre of the Chinese porcelain industry, was a famous kiln that specialized in white porcelain making. Its sites were spread within the scope of today"s Dehua County, in East China"s Fujian Province.
Dehua County in central Fujian Province in southeast China is known as one of the Three Porcelain Capitals of China, together withJingdezheninJiangxi Provinceand Liling inHunan Province.
Dehua porcelaindates back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279). Although by the Song and Yuan dynasties (960-1368), Dehua porcelains were already being exported to other countries and regions, it was during theMing Dynasty(1368-1644) that Dehua porcelain gradually developed its own techniques and styles and enjoyed a period of great development.
Ivory colored Chinese porcelain was first produced in the Dehua Kiln in Fujian Province during the Ming Dynasty. The white porcelain was low in iron content and high in potassium content, and the color of the glazed surface was of a bright, smooth luster, and as milky as frozen fat. It was thus often called "cream white" or "ivory white."
Dehua white porcelain used to be one of the major varieties for export in various dynasties. In the West it was called "China white porcelain" or "Marco Poloporcelain". The most common objects made of Dehua porcelain were burners, cups, bottles, plates, tin, Zun (a kind of wine vessel), and Ding (an ancient cooking vessel), which were often decorated with appliqu脙漏s and stamps; the porcelain figurine was also remarkably exquisite. A Dehua porcelain masterpiece was the white figure of the Buddha.
Among Dehua porcelains, the white figures of the Buddha were the most famous, and were representative of the best firing techniques of the Dehua Kiln at that time. With a refined design and elegant touch, the white porcelain of the Dehua Kiln became a representative genre of Chinese porcelain industry and earned the moniker of the "bright pearl" of the international porcelain industry.
There are two methods used to mold Dehua porcelain: one is to directly mold it into shape using high-quality kaolin; the other is to make a mould first, and then pour in slurry or use direct rubbing. Whether or not the adobe needs glazing depends on necessity. Then the adobe is laid into the kiln and fired at a temperature of more than 1,000芒鈥炂?
Solid and smooth, Dehua porcelain is resistant to both heat and cold. One type of Dehua porcelain, the Jianbai, in particular has a sparkle and luster even more stunning than whitejade. Its ivory-white color and superb workmanship make it a favorite among art lovers.
In modern times, quite a few DehuaQing Dynasty(1644-1911) porcelains have won gold prizes in expositions held both at home and abroad, in countries such asShanghai(East China),TaiwanProvince, Japan, and Britain. In addition, Dehua porcelain is one of China"s main porcelain exports, with more than 390 varieties being exported to more than 80 countries and regions around the world.