Dehua or Jingdezhen ceramics?

- min of reading

Porcelaine de Dehua (en haut) porcelaine de Jingdezhen (en bas)

Summary :

For centuries, since the Ming dynasty, the city of Dehua produces porcelain thanks to the surrounding Kaolin clay of this region. Originally, the production of this porcelain was used for export and private daily newspapers. While the city of Jingdezhen enjoyed and benefited from the favors of the imperial court. Therefore Dehua developed a private market, but also an outward-looking market, corresponding to a major export to Europe in the 18th century. Became famous for its porcelain statues sold everywhere abroad, this production persists until today. Of our time, Dehua can import and export en masse thanks to its well-established factories, especially for objects that are useful in everyday life and for popular consumption. However, there are still a few workshops for artisanal production for the top of the range.

For Jingdezhen, its sources of Kaolin have dried up and must resort to other sources, which has a cost. As a result Jingdezhen is careful not to produce too much and turns rather to the top of the range.

DJesus has a large source of kaolin clay and the best in the country: very malleable it can be shaped in any way (lathe, mold or press). Of great purity, the porcelain paste obtained is very white and extremely shiny.

In terms of paint and enamel.

- Dehua produces printed painted designs rather than hand painted, at medium and low heat. Many factories Dehua are turning instead to the automation of the paint job, by applying printed patterns to standardize the finished product, and therefore minimize costs. Cooking at low temperatures requires less energy, and causes less loss.

- On the other hand, the workshops of Jingdezhen favor artistic pieces painted by hand, often finished by firing at high temperature (+1300°C). This causes a lot of loss during cooking, hence the higher price to maintain this traditional art.

By evaluating the pros and cons, the 2 cities still deserve their rank as the first great porcelains of China today.

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