Firing Techniques of Liling Unglazed Colorful Porcelain

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Firing Techniques of Liling Unglazed Colorful Porcelain

The firing technology of Liling Unglazed Five-color Porcelain, the local traditional firing technology of Liling Unglazed Five-color Porcelain in Hunan Province, is one of the national intangible cultural heritages.

The firing technique of Liling's underglaze multicoloured porcelains requires nearly 100 processes from raw materials to finished products, all of which are completed by hand. Porcelain fillers, glazes and pigments are made from Liling local high-quality raw materials.

On June 7, 2008, Liling Unglazed Firing Techniques of Colorful Porcelain was approved by the State Council of the People's Republic of China and listed in the second batch of national intangible cultural heritage list, No. _-95. On May 15, 2018, Liling Unglazed Firing Techniques of Colorful Porcelain was selected as the first batch of national revitalization catalogue of traditional crafts.

Historical evolution

As early as the mid-Tang Dynasty in the eighth century, Changsha Tongguan Kiln pioneered a new technology of high temperature under-glaze painting. According to the textual research of cultural relics experts, there were green paintings under white glaze, Brown paintings under yellow glaze, brown-green paintings under green glaze, and brown, ochre and green paintings under green-yellow glaze. In decoration, besides various patterns, a large number of subjects such as flowers, birds, animals and figures are also used to beautify the porcelain directly by means of painting.

Since then, the famous Cizhou kiln in the Song Dynasty, the black-brown color painting in the northern folk kiln, and the blue and white in the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, as well as the red in glaze decoration technology, can be said to have developed under the influence of Changsha kiln, and opened up the way for the color painting on glaze.

Process characteristics

Unglazed multicoloured porcelain includes tea sets, tableware, display art porcelain and so on. It has a wide range of varieties. Firing technology of underglaze multicolor porcelain is unique. Firstly, adopt high-grade raw materials to ensure the highest whiteness of mud glaze and transparency of body. Secondly, the scientific formulation of body and glaze meets the technological requirements of product forming and high temperature firing. Thirdly, every step of forming process from model to rolling, grouting, finishing, washing, drying and plain firing should be carefully operated and strictly controlled. Fourthly, the process of color painting is meticulous, from composition to sketching and finishing. Painting an excellent work can take days or months to complete. Fifth, glazing, glaze covering the body picture, so called under-glaze. Glazing should be uniform inside and outside. Sixth, it is fired at high temperature, the temperature is 1350 - 1400 C. There are two and three firings of underglaze multicolor porcelain, which are called double firing and triple firing. The purpose of plain firing is to enhance the strength of the green body and control the water absorption of the green body. The ideal product after firing at high temperature will not deform and crack. Glaze is white, smooth, wear-resistant, acid-alkali corrosion-resistant and lead-free cadmium toxicity. The picture is colorful and never fades. High temperature firing is the art of fire. If the firing control of fire is good, the products may appear various defects or even be scrapped, and the achievements of color painting are abandoned.

Painting endows the soul and life of underglaze multicolor porcelain, which is completed by hand. Underglaze paintings are carried out on plain blanks with certain strength and water absorption. The subjects of the paintings are rich and colorful, including feathers, flowers, figures, landscapes, insects, animals, calligraphy, patterns and so on. They not only inherit the tradition of Chinese paintings, but also absorb the style of Western paintings. In the form of expression, there are color and ink, fine brushwork and freehand brushwork. There are two kinds of techniques, one is to fill the image with water, the other is to light the image directly with color. There are also points of collusion, Half-work and half-writing, and staggered use. Mr. Deng Wenke, a master of Chinese arts and crafts, has been engaged in the research and creation of underglaze paintings for more than 60 years. He also has high attainments in Chinese painting and calligraphy, especially in flowers and birds and seal scripts. Created bold and decorative freehand brushwork and a variety of new decorative techniques, formed their own personality style. He designed and created a large number of exquisite subglaze ceramics, some vigorous and dignified, some fresh and elegant, some colorful, some simple, some meticulous, some bold and unconstrained. It enriches the treasure house of decorative art and painting techniques of Liling's glazed five-color porcelain.

Underglaze painting is different from flat paper painting. It is painted on the surface of ceramic body. Pigments used are different from paper paints in direct colour rendering. The colours of underglaze paints need to be burned before they can be coloured. The painter must anticipate its color effect, accurate color setting, concise pattern design and rigorous structure. The technique of double blending requires that the outline of the figure be outlined with ink lines and then mixed with water to fill in the color. The color should be flat and natural, showing the level of light and shade. It can also use color matching and shading techniques to make the composition show rich tones. After firing, the glaze surface is bright and lustrous, and the picture is colorful.

Liling underglaze multicolour breaks through the limitation of monochrome decoration, and develops from multicolour to multicolour. It can show various monochrome patterns and colorful pictures. The production of glaze color is the result of the close combination of unglazed layer, underglaze pigments and body under high temperature firing conditions. Colors are abundant, strong but not vulgar, light and spiritual. The use of underglaze colors covers almost all color systems. After high temperature kiln transformation, more abundant colors can be produced. In practical operation, attention must be paid to the bonding properties of body and glaze and the applicability of pigments. Chen Yanglong, the late master of Chinese arts and crafts, created and summarized the method of "thin application and light dyeing". The color treatment pursues tranquility and peace. Most of them are the differences between shades of colours, and seldom use strong contrast colours. Apply light color and multi-color decoration, with distinct layers and elegance.

Technological process

Liling Unglazed Multicolored Porcelain has nearly 100 processes from raw materials to finished products, all of which are completed by hand. Porcelain fillers, glazes and pigments are made from Liling local high-quality raw materials.

Its color drawing uses self-made underglaze colors, using double-hook water filling and other techniques to dissolve the picture under the glaze, making it smooth and bright, with a full sense of moisture. After firing at high temperature, the glaze covered on the decoration becomes glassy, which is more lustrous and bright.

The pigments used in underglaze multicolor ceramics are colored by metal oxides. The flux does not contain toxic substances such as lead and cadmium, and can resist acid and alkali. After forming, the billet must be burned at 800 C to improve the strength of the billet. After the painting of the blank is finished, the picture is covered by spray glaze, and then the finished product is fired at 1350 ~1410 ~C, which makes the colorful picture appear from the glaze layer.

Inheritance and protection

Inheritance value

The firing technique of Liling glazed multicolor porcelain is a great invention of Chinese porcelain, which has a great influence on the decoration methods of world ceramics and has high scientific and technological and historical and cultural value.

Inheriting characters

Deng Wenke, male, was born in October 1930. On May 26, 2009, Deng Wenke was selected as the representative successor of the third batch of state-level intangible cultural heritage projects and declared by Liling City, Zhuzhou City, Hunan Province. Project Name: Firing Techniques of Liling Unglazed Multicolored Porcelain.

protective measures

From Nov. 18 to Nov. 20, 2017, the "Collision of Hunan Embroidery and Ceramics", a dialogue successor sponsored by Hunan Provincial Culture Department, was held in Hunan. The three-day investigation and dialogue promoted in-depth exchanges and mutual learning between the inheritors of non-heritage representative projects such as Hunan embroidery, Miao embroidery, Taoyuan embroidery, Liling glaze firing technology of five-color porcelain, Changsha kiln bronze official ceramic firing technology and representatives of experts, scholars, designers and entrepreneurs from all over the country, and provided an efficient platform for promoting the better integration of non-heritage into contemporary life.

On June 2, 2018, Hunan Province's "Cultural and Natural Heritage Day" Promotional Exhibition series and Changsha Rain Flower Non-Heritage Exhibition Week were launched in Yuhua District's non-heritage folk art characteristic block, in Yuhua Non-Heritage Museum, the outstanding achievements of 2018 intangible cultural heritage exhibition combined with the existing national, provincial and municipal representative non-heritages in Yuhua Non-Heritage Museum. The project fully demonstrates the brilliant and profound firing techniques of Liling Unglazed Five-color Porcelain by means of pictures, texts, physical objects and video images.

social influence

Important activities

On June 9, 2010, sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China, the Department of Non-material Cultural Heritage of the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China and the Center for the Protection of China's Non-material Cultural Heritage, the China Arts and Crafts Museum, the China Jewelry and Jade Jewelry Industry Association, the Beijing Cultural Bureau, the Hebei Provincial Cultural Department, the Shanxi Provincial Cultural Department, the Liaoning Cultural Department and the Shanghai Municipal Bureau Jiangsu Provincial Culture Department, Zhejiang Provincial Culture Department, Anhui Provincial Culture Department, Fujian Provincial Culture Department, Jiangxi Provincial Culture Department, Shandong Provincial Culture Department, Henan Provincial Culture Department, Hubei Provincial Culture Department, Hunan Provincial Culture Department, Guangdong Provincial Culture Department, Chongqing Cultural Radio and Television Bureau, Sichuan Provincial Culture Department, Guizhou Provincial Culture Department, Yunnan Provincial Culture Department, Tibet Autonomous Region Culture Department and Gansu Provincial Culture Department The "Skillful Skills - 100 Masters of Arts and Crafts of China's Non-material Cultural Heritage" co-sponsored by Huafang, Qinghai Culture and Press and Publishing Hall and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region Culture Hall was held in Beijing Exhibition Hall, and the firing techniques of Liling Unglazed Five-color Porcelain were displayed on the spot.

On November 4, 2016, the "Non-Heritage on the Long March Road" event sponsored by Fujian Provincial Art Museum and Fujian Provincial Non-material Cultural Heritage Protection Center was held at the 9th Cross-Strait Cultural Exposition, and Liling's firing skills of underglaze five-color porcelain were displayed on the spot.

international repercussions

Tang Wenke, the national representative of Liling's firing technique of glazed multicoloured porcelain, has exhibited in more than 30 countries, including Japan, the United States and the United Kingdom.

Honorary commendation

In 1909, Liling Unglazed Five-color Porcelain won the first-class gold prize in the "Wuhan Quanye Award".

In 1910, Liling Unglazed Five-color Porcelain won the first gold medal in the Nanyang Exercise Conference.

In 1912, Liling Unglazed Multicolored Porcelain won the best prize at the "Durang Exposition, Italy".

In 1915, Liling Unglazed Multicolored Porcelain won the gold medal at the Panama Pacific World Exposition held in San Francisco, USA.

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