DIA 140xH65mm, Hong Kong

This bowl is an example of the traditional mass production of craft which is still 100% handmade.  Notice the ring at the bottom of the bowl?  That it is unglazed?  It is not part of the pattern of the bowl but a feature of the production of the bowl itself – stack firing.

If you turn a bowl over, you will notice that the bottom of the plinth is a bit rougher, that it hasn’t got any glazing.  This is because if the glaze is there, under the heat of the kiln it would melt and cause the work to stick to the kiln board, that’s why the potter would carefully clean off any glaze.  Normally when firing each item would be placed on a kiln board and at some distance apart from other works.  In the Qin dynasty (220BC), demand for pottery is high, stack firing becomes popular in the common kiln.  The bowls would be stacked on top of each other (like how the bowls are arranged  in your kitchen cabinets), about 10 pieces tall.  To prevent the glazing on the bowl sticking together the glazing on the inside of the bowl (where the plinth of the upper bowl is touching) is removed,  hence the unglazed ring.  This would yield a lot more work in a single firing – tradition mass production.

This item selected by Furze for the Something Old Something New exhibition and is available at both Mountain Folkcraft and Soil.

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