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Late Qing/Republican period Cizhou Pencheng blue and white/undeglaze enamelled wares
Due to the popularity of blue and white wares, Pengcheng potters were forced to switch to blue and white as its main production during the late Qing period. From the Qing Guanxu to the 1920s, moe thant 60 potters were sent to Jingdezhen to learn the production techniques from their counterparts.
Some of the blue and white produced by the better potters were of good artistic quality. There is a category which followed the literati style of drawing and has inscription and name of the artist just like those found in Qianjiang porcelains made in Jingdezhen. In terms of standard, some of the works are comparable to the good ones from Jingdezhen. However, due to the application of a slip over the vessel before decoration as in the past, the the blue and white tends to have poorer adhesion and flakes more easily.
|A photo showing potters from an establishment called Jing Lexuan (静乐) in Pengcheng decorating the bowls. Many of the decoration found on wares with calligraphic inscription Jing Lexuan are of high quality.|
During the Republican period, Pengcheng potters further widened their product lines with underglaze enamelled wares which were first experimented and successfully produced in Hunan Lining. Some were very well drawn and of high artistic merits.
Contemporary copies of Song/Yuan Cizhou wares
The techniques of the ancient Song/Yuan Cizhou potters have been successfully re-discovered by potters in Pengcheng. In fact, some of works are very well made and comparable to standard of the past. Among the present day master cizhou craftsmen, Mr Liu Lizhong (刘立忠) was one of the most well known. Besides making pieces modelled in the Song/YuanCizhou styles, he also produced pieces which using ancient Cizhou techniques but with modern themes and forms.
Some copies of Jin/Yuan iron-painted pillows made by other craftsmen were also well executed and of rather good artistic quality.
Written by: NK Koh (1 Dec 2010)
1. 磁州窑古瓷 - 邯郸市博物馆， 磁县博物馆合编
2 磁州窑瓷 - 王建中
3 明代磁州窑瓷器 - 郭学雷
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