During my vist to China this year, after finishing my research in Shuiji, I went to Jingdezhen to catch up with some friends and to do some futher research into porcelain. My host, Danyuan Liu, from the Fragrant Garden Studios in the Old Sculpture Factory, offered to take me to one of the last of the Old Pottery Factories still operating within Jingdezhen. To say it was facinating is an understatement, and I learnt so much from the experience.
Firstly I had always puzzled at how the “Rice Burn” technique had been accomplished and even though they no longer have throwers in the factory, they use the rolling head jigger jolley machines with plaster moulds, I was finally able to solve the problem. No, they didn’t place individual rice grains in the clay and burn them out! For a start they do no bisque the work here, it is all raw glazed and once fired. As you will see in the video, they have a very ingenious machine that cuts the holes, in this case three sets, but it can cut six sets as well. The holes are filled with glaze, that is the pink in the sauce bottle being sqeezed into the pots.
I was impresssed with the high level of skill demonstrated by all the workers in the factory, of special note are the glazers, one using a basket ball and foot pressure to glaze the insides and the other using a suction cup with an ingenious little rubber band to break the seal. All so efficient.
I hope you enjoy the video.