Longquan celadon is a famous type of celadon-glazed porcelain made in Longquan and neighboring counties in Zhejiang province.
The celadon produced by the Longquan kiln is outstanding for its translucent glaze, jade-like coating and exquisite shapes.
Originated during the Jin Dynasty (265-376), Longquan celadon came to the fore in the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1127). Glazed with green or yellow, celadon of that time featured delicate textures and fine ceramic layers.
Daily necessities such as bowls, salvers, cups, pots and bottles decorated with engravings of flowers, birds and fish were the style favored at the Longquan kiln where celadon flourished in the Southern Song Dynasty (1127-1279).
Made of violet-golden clay and a mixture of burnt feldspar, limestone, quartz and plant ash, the glaze is produced in accordance with recipes that have often been handed down for generations.
The glaze is applied to a fired stoneware vessel, which is then fired again in a repeated cycle of six stages of heating and cooling where precise temperatures matter a great deal: either over- or under-firing will spoil the effect.
The kiln evolved into the Ge kiln and Di kiln during the Song Dynasty (Ge means elder brother and Di means younger brother in Chinese). The Ge kiln together with Guan kiln, Ru kiln, Ding kiln and Jun Kiln were known as five famous kilns of the Song Dynasty. Celadons made at the Ge kiln are characterized by irregular crackles on their glaze and enameled with a plum-green color on their bodies. While celadons made at the Di Kiln are coated with a thick glaze on white making, with mild jade colors, and a quality only just inferior to the Ge kiln.
Recently, the provincial government has organized experts to carry out research and development on Longquan celadon to revive and turn over a new leaf for the art. At present, there is one national, and three provincial arts and crafts masters in Longquan. With more than 130, mainly private, enterprises, Longquan celadon is a pillar of industry in the county.
[Photo from en.gotohz.com]