Iron in the Fire:
The Chinese Potters’ Exploration of Iron Oxide Glazes
By: Nigel Wood

Glaze and Pottery Technique

Iron in the Fire: The Chinese Potters’ Exploration of Iron Oxide Glazes

Iron in the Fire: the Chinese Potter’s Exploration of Iron Oxide Glazes: An Exhibition Held at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

The 1988 exhibition and the catalog provide technical information on the wide range of iron-based colors found on Ming and Qing porcelains. This is a very good book with beautiful illustration of a number of very good and important pieces. I also find it quite interesting to see the variations of color that could be accomplished by one metallic colorant oxide – iron. As usual the people at Percival David Foundation felt we should know this and as usual, they are right.

Hard to find.

London: The Oriental Ceramic Society, 1988.
Paperback: 88 pages
Publisher: Ashmolean Museum Publications (January 1, 1988)
ISBN-10: 0903421232
ISBN-13: 978-0903421232

April 4th, 2008

China – Ancient Kilns and Modern Ceramics:
A Guide to the Potteries
By: Wanda Garnsey with Rewi Alley

Glaze and Pottery Technique // Hand and Reference Books

ancient kilns
China, ancient kilns and modern ceramics: A guide to the modern potteries

Organized geographically by provinces, the guide provides information on pottery in these provinces, with informative descriptions and illustrations. The book is from 1983 and when it comes to historical reference literature I feel this is actually good. This is just a few years after the Cultural Revolution and the modern industrialization have not yet altered all traditional industries.

I have seen this book availavle from around $30 to more than $300 and would like to suggest that you look around some before you hit the ‘buy’ button.

Australian National University Press, Canberra, 1983. Illustrated with photographs in colour and black and white, maps. 28 cm. XIII, 144 pages
The book also on the Smithsonian reading list.

April 4th, 2008

Celadon Blues:
Recreate Ancient Chinese Celadon Glazes

By: Robert Tichane

Glaze and Pottery Technique // Song Dynasty

celadonblues.jpgCeladon Blues

This is a quite interesting author in the field of ancient Chinese pottery and porcelain since he is not an arts historian but a potter. I first noticed him through a book he wrote on a visit he once did to Jingdezhen, just to study Chinese pottery. Now that is dedication.

This is another book by him I just figured I wanted to mention to the real hardcore Song pottery collectors, because here Robert Tichane sets out to recreate all these famous glazes – and if you skip the instructions on how to actually do that, the book itself really explains what distinguishes the famous wares and glazes like Celadon, Jun, Yue, Temmuko etc. and how a really successful copy could look like. If you happen to be a potter, this is probably even more interesting. I however found it this book quite interesting if not of vital importance.

The beautiful, subtle, and visually varied glaze effects of celadons can be achieved with the guidance of this terrific study from noted chemist and potter Robert Tichane, who has done years of research to dissect ancient Chinese glazes and re-create them with modern materials. The results of thousands of tests of this notoriously fussy glaze will guide potters of all skill levels to achieve a variety of colorations, from sky blue to green to gray, from dramatic to understated.

This books is currently available at Amazon for $9 which means there are no excuse from adding it to your library.

March 26th, 2008

Chinese Glazes
By: Nigel Wood

Glaze and Pottery Technique

Chinese Glazes: Their Origins, Chemistry and Recreation

Chinese Glazes. Nigel Wood, London, 1999. This is an important book. If you are aiming at a “collection” of Chinese porcelain and really want to know this subject, this is definitely a must together with the He Li book above. If you are planning to buy 10 books on Chinese porcelain, this should be one of them. It is also highly recommended for those interested in Song Dynasty ceramics since glazes was very important during that period and, because I think Nigel is sorting out the fundamentals for that period in a very understandable way.

This book is also something of a “dictionary” since it is a very good book for looking up things in.

CLASSIC – absolutely necessary for understanding glazes. Also good as a Chinese Ceramics dictionary. Relevant and well researched.

March 26th, 2008