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Yaozhou

Yaozhou is typically a Northern Song 'greenware'. Established in the Tang Dynasty and prospering in the Northern Song Dynasty, the Yaozhou Kiln was one of the most well-known 'celadon' kilns in China.

Type of celadon stoneware originally produced in the kilns of Shaanxi province but which then spread throughout Northern China. Also known as "Northern Celadon". Yaozhou ware is characterized by a fairly translucent olive-greenish glaze over a light grey body. The decoration is usually incised or printed in relief.

The kilns were distributed in Tongchuan district, Shaanxi province. White, black and green wares started to be made here in the Tang dynasty (618-907). During the Song dynasty (960-1279) the green wares became the major ceramic products and the production continued until the Jiajing period by the end of the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

The typical style of the Song Dynasty Yaozhou celadon ware were dark green glazed vessels such as bowls, dishes, saucers, jars, vases, small bottles and cups which are decorated with carvings or impressed with dragon, phoenix and floral patterns.

The clay sources in Yaozhou were rocks that were turned into workable clay for ceramics through grinding and washing. The decoration was mostly molded or incised with a knife with a curved blade with which the decoration was incised in the pieces before the clay was completely dry. The pieces was then bisque fired before they were glazed, making the decoration come out as different shades of the thick green glaze.

Yaozhou ware is still made today in the mountainous area of Chenlu, one of the sites of the old Yaozhou kilns. The present day kilns in the area are located in Huangpuzhen and Chenluzhen in the Yaozhou area of Shaanxi province, and are built in the same way as in the Song dynasty 1000 years ago.

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