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Why Not Both?

May 26, 2015

This is a post by Southern Highlands Potter and teacher Steve Harrison. It provides some great insights and images of the methods used to create porcelain in Jingdezhen China

Tonight my Fingers Smell of Garlic

Jingdezhen in China has a very long history of making porcelain. Over one thousand years in fact. They had already celebrated their millennium of porcelain making when I was working there ten years ago. The special thing about this place is the clay. It isn’t clay!

What they use here is a ground-up stone. When they crush and finely grind the local stone down into a very fine paste, it becomes plastic. This is like magic. Stone doesn’t usually become sticky and plastic like clay unless it’s very special. This stone is largely composed ofsericite mica, and it is special. It is reasonably rare stuff to find en-mass, in its pure white form. It has a flat plate-like crystal structure, not unlike clay, only much coarser. When these microscopic plates are wetted, they slide about against each other in a similar way to the way that clay does. Of course…

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One Comment
  1. dorothea permalink

    …yikes… amazing…
    Thank you for sharing this. Ever since Paul Davies has visited the City of Jingdezhen and their production of porcelain has been on my mind…

    Kind regards

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