Porcelain glaze

Celadon glaze
Black glaze
White glaze



Celadon glaze

  The earliest glaze with color among the Chinese porcelain emerges in the South. It is called celadon glaze. The so-called "celadon glaze" doesn't mean that the color is pure cyan. Usually, it means processing several colors such as yellow, green, cyan and so on. But it is more or less suffused with a little turquoise. At the same time, cyan, green and blue are often called "cyan" by the ancients. For example, "The ancient porcelain is cyan. But cyan includes green and blue." has been said by Xu Zhiheng in the Talk about Porcelain at Yinliuzhai. "Cyan is often confused with blue. After gloom comes brightness, the cyan in Jun kiln and Yuan kiln are similar to blue… only plum green, thousand peaks in emerald color, bean green belong to pure cyan. The sky is blue. But sometimes, it also takes on cyan." has been said by Liu Zifen in the Talk about pottery at the Bamboo Garden.

Yellowish pea
green glazed vase
in the shape of a gourd (Qianlong) 

  The celadon glaze uses iron as major stained element and calcium oxide as major latent solvent in the successive dynasties of our country. The colored glaze containing iron oxide is fired yellow by oxidizing flame and then takes on cyan by reducing flame. On the other hand, the iron oxide content of the glaze has a close contact with color produced in glaze. For example, the iron content of celadon oil material makes up 2%-3% in the Yue kiln and Wuzhou kiln in ancient times. Therefore, the color of the glaze is relatively deep. It takes on bean green. The iron oxide content of the celadon glaze makes up 1.54% in the Ou kiln in the Tang Dynasty. Therefore, the color is pale green. The highly iron content of the reddish purple clay is used to compound black glaze in the Deqing kiln. The iron content of the glaze reaches 6%-8%. Therefore, the color is black just like lacquer.



  Piao, original intention, is a kind of pale green silk. The so-called "piaose" means the color of the glaze of the celadon like piao. The color of the glaze of the Ou ware is piaose. In other words, it is pale green. Because the composition of the cyan makes up a large proportion in the pale grey green. But different duration and degree of heating leads to different color produced in glaze. Some are dark grey green, green, olivine, some are even grey and kermesinus. The quality of the glaze is divided into two kinds: one is transparent glass glaze. The glaze is thick and it has a lot of cracks. The other is semitransparent glass glaze. It is fired by reducing flame.


Secret color

  Informal Essay Written at Gaozhai records " It is said that secret color ware is used as tribute to the king in the Qian clan. It is fired at Yuezhou. The official and the common people in feudal times cannot use it. Therefore, it is called secret color." The latter documents also agree to this viewpoint. In fact, secret color is one kind of the celadon color tones. The color is greyblue and there is no light on the cover coat.

  The secret color does not originate from the Qian clan. It has already this kind of color in the Tang Dynasty. It flourishes in the Five Dynasties, declines in the period of Nangsong and is interrupted in the Yuan and Ming Dynasty. When the secret color ware is fired at Shanglin Lake, Yuyao, in the Song Dynasty, the color is no longer that kind of immature reduced color tone which a tiny yellow in cyan, but is a light green just like transparent water in the lake. Therefore, it is also called jade by foreign people.


Pale blue

  Pale blue is one kind of the lime-alkali glazes. It uses the oxide of iron as major color agent. At the same time, it contains a little manganese or titanium. The way of making pale color is green glazing. The thickness of the glaze is 1--- 2.5cms. It is fired by reducing flame at a high temperature in the kiln. The color of the glaze is turquoise. It has an artistic effect like the jade. Pale blue glaze initiates in Longquan ware during the period of Nangsong. Both the official kiln in the Song Dynasty and Jingdezhen have successful pale blue products.



Bean green

  Bean green originates from Longquan kiln in the Song Dynasty. At first, Dong celadon and bean green belong to one kind. Henceforth, they begin to have their own characteristics respectively. It is close to yellow slightly before the Ming Dynasty. But it is close to pure green in the Qing Dynasty. Bean green takes on pale yellow during the years of Zhengde in the Ming Dynasty. But it takes on deep color during the years of Kangxi and the cover coat is lubricious. Bean green glaze is coated on the surface of various kinds of wares but the bottom and the inside of the ware are still coated with white glaze.



Celeste blue

  It was said that during the rule of Chai Shizong at the period of the Houzhou of the Five Dynasties, official governments asked for instructions about the model and the color employed by the emperor from him. Chai Shizong asked them to use the color which the sun shines after the rain. The color of the glaze created on the basis of this color is called "the color which the sun shines after the rain". In other words, it is called celeste glaze. It is recorded that the color of the glaze in Ru kiln is also called celeste blue.




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