Chapter IV Porcelain of Sui Dynasty

At the end of Sui Dynasty (581-618), the Grand Cannel was dug and enhanced economic and cultural exchanges between the south and the north. There were more varieties of porcelain products, quantities of white porcelain increased and even though the center of porcelain production was in the south, the north tried hard to catch up.

1.Celadon: The main product in Sui was still celadon, which was baked by reducing flames, yet the glaze, still lime glaze was not stable and there were drops on the exterior after burning. Stamping was more common in patterns, the stamps were also burnt and pressed onto the clay body and then the body was covered with glaze for burning. The patterns ranged from round flowers, plants and grass, lotus to rolled up leaves, ripples and bow strings. There were also carved designs, which was to carve with sharp tools onto the clay body before it was dried up; there were also pasted designs, but very common.

The forms of Sui celadon  were mainly wide-open pots and jars with four or s six earrings, pots with handle shaped like a drogan with a chicken head as the mouth, pots for fish bones, plates with higher stand, vase, ink grinder and so on. The green glaze pot with four earrings produced by Huainan Kiln of Anhui (as the picture on the left) can not be from other kilns.

2. White Porcelain: More white porcelain was found in Sui tombs, but the whiteness was not the color of the glaze,
rather it was the color of the body with a layer of glass glaze over it. The important achievement in Sui was to apply a thin layer of white porcelain paste that contained much less iron onto the body and ensured stability of the glaze.The picture on the right is Sui white porcelain pot with its mouth shaped like a chicken head.







2.Technology and Forms: Sui Dynasty obtained some remarkable achievements in porcelain production.First of all, the raw material was washed and panned,artisans of Sui mastered the technique to control ferric elements. Even though supports were used to allow baking of wares that were piled up, ashes and dregs often fell on bodies being baked, so in Sui Dynasty a kind of cylinder was used to avoid impurities. As a result, the glaze was pure and clean. The flat bottom was changed into circle stand and the walls were thinner. The representative forms were pots with chicken head as shown above, jars with earrings for hanging, plates with high stands and white porcelain figurines.


Green glaze jar with 4 earrings of Sui Dynasty


Section II   Development of Porcelain Production in the North
Section I   Celadon and White Porcelain

Porcelain production developed fairly quickly in the north since the Sui Dynasty, famously kilns were Jiabi Village Kiln of Hebei, Anyang Kiln and Gongxian Kiln of Henan, Huainan Kiln of Anhui. Wares produced by these kilns were of thick and heavier bodies, mostly in grayish white and the clay soil was panned. Such a development in the north laid a foundation for the prosperity of porcelain production in Tang and Song Dynasties.


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