Porcelain, also called Chinese ceramics, is one of humanity’s most ancient inventions. The stories behind this unique and exquisite material are fascinating, detailing how it made its way across the globe and gave the modern world the word “china”.
The most important difference between pottery, primitive porcelain and real porcelain is temperature.
Porcelain was developed from pottery. China is the 1st country in the world to burn out porcelain. Around the Shang Dynasty, Chinese people were able to fire primitive porcelain. And the real successful firing of porcelain was in the Eastern Han Dynasty.
In the Northern and Southern Dynasties, a new breakthrough is the white porcelain. Celadon contains green, blue, yellow, turquoise, and cyan; black porcelain contains brown and black; white porcelain may also be slightly yellow or slightly green.
The difference between them is the iron content in the glaze.
In ancient times, the raw material ratio and temperature could not be controlled very well, so the glaze color was unstable and had strong randomness.
In the Tang Dynasty, white porcelain reached a point where it could compete with celadon, forming a situation of “South Qing North White“. The southern was Yue Kiln in Zhejiang, and the northern was from Xing Kiln in Hebei.
There is a famous “Tang Sancai” in the Tang Dynasty. However, it is a kind of pottery fired at low temperature but it has multiple colors.
In the Song Dynasty, the famous “five famous kilns” are Ru, Guan, Brother, Jun and Ding.
“Ru Kiln, Guan Kiln, Ge Kiln and Jun Kiln” all belong to the celadon family, while “Ding Kiln” is mainly white porcelain.
The special one is Jun Kiln. The color of the glaze is determined by the iron content in it, and Jun Kiln added a little copper on this basis. As a result, it turned out a gradual purple red color. People praised Jun Kiln. as “one color into the kiln, come out with a million colors.” “入窑一色，出窑万彩”