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Yaozhou Kiln and Yaozhou Kiln Museum

The original Yaozhou Kiln is located in Yaozhou, which is present-day Huangbaozhen in Tongchuan of Northwest China'sShaanxi Province. Yaozhou ware was another major school of porcelain in northern China during the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

Exhaustive studies show that Huangbaozhen was an important porcelain-making site established in theTang Dynasty(618-907). Its development continued till the reign of Jingkang (1126-1127) in theNorthern Song Dynasty(960-1127), before gradually declining afterwards. However, theYuan Dynasty(1271-1368) still saw the manufacture of Yaozhou ware.

The porcelain school of Yaozhou ware spread over a wide area, extending east beyond Shaanxi Province to influence the Ruzhou celadon school in Central China's Henan Province; while in the west it spread to Xunyi on the border between Shaanxi and Gansu (Northwest China) provinces. The Xunyi kiln, discovered in May 1977, produced celadon ware of the Yaozhou School.

The celebrated Song poet Lu You said in the second volume of his Notes in an Old Scholar's Studio that Yaozhou celadon was similar to "Mi Se" ("secret color") porcelain of the Yuezhou kiln in East China's Zhejiang Province. It was durable and widely used by the populace.

Qing Yi Lu , a work dealing with miscellaneous subjects, admires the concise and simple shape of a shallow bowl with a flat bottom devised by Yaozhou potters. The bowl was called "little seagull," illustrating the popularity of porcelain vessels manufactured in Yaozhou kilns.

In its early stage, Yaozhou ware of the Northern Song Dynasty had a rather coarse body and glaze and the vessels were mainly trumpet-shaped bowls. Teapots with a handle and short spout were externally decorated with some roughly incised lotus petals and peonies. Few had impressed (imprinted) designs.

In the middle period most porcelain vessels had thin bodies and were evenly glazed. Fired at high temperatures, they were durable. There was greater variety in shapes-bowls, plates, dishes, jars, saucers, boxes, censers, wine cups and lamps. One type of decoration consisted of bold, attractive motifs of flowers, human figures, and animals engraved in incisive strokes.

Impressed designs were also very popular during the middle period, and those covering the entire vessel inside and out were exquisite. Designs included flowers and grasses, fish, ducks, dragons, phoenixes, ocean waves, and floating clouds. The patterns of interlocking blossoms and plucked sprays of flowers were widely used, the best being peonies, chrysanthemums, and lotus flowers.

The vessels with still thinner bodies of the later period were prettier than those of the middle period. The designs were impressed, mostly at the bottom inside the bowls and plates; the finer ones depicted a phoenix gently touching peonies or a flock of cranes and children at play. The decorative art of Yaozhou ware was very influential in the development of Song arts and crafts.

Yaozhou kilns produced on a large scale. The kiln site of Huangbaozhen alone extended for five kilometers. According to archaeologists' measurements the kiln furnaces were generally 3.36 to 4 meters high and 2.16 meters long by 3.36 meters wide.

Unearthed from a Yaozhou kiln site were porcelain vessels decorated with dragon and phoenix motifs, showing mixed production of the simple, coarse vessels used by ordinary people, and a number of exquisite porcelain objects for the royal family.

Yaozhou Kiln Museum is now the largest in scale,
the richest in intention in China

  Yaozhou Kiln Museum is located in Huang-pu Town, Tongchuan of Shaanxi Province, the site of the well-known Ruins of Yaozhou Kiln, a unit of cultural relics under state protecixton.
   Started burning in the Tang, developed in the Five Dynasties, reaching its peaks in the Northern Song, continuing in the Jin and ended at the end of the Yuan dynasty. The Yaozhou Kiln, known as "Ten-li Kiln" in history . has a history of burning over 800 years, leaving behind the richest cultural heritage, More than 3 million piecces of various kinds of cultural relics and 200 of workofshops and stoves have been excavated on the site, It is seldom seen in the ceramic history of the world that such big excavation areas, great numbers of the cultural relics, well reserved ruins and rich cultural intensions, and it is a huge treasure for ceramic culture.
   Yaozhou Kiln Museum is now the largest in scale, the richest in intention in China, three in one , a special museum for the remains of ancient pottery and porcelain including the Exhibiton for the Protection of the Remain. Exhibition for the sample of the cultural relices and Demonstration of the Ancient Pottery making.
   Covering an area of 60000 square metres, Yaozhou Kiln Museum has an exhibition area of 9000 square metres with the collection of 500000 pieces of cultural relics. The remains of the Kiln sites are consisted of three protection hall, the celadon-making Kilns and works and workshops of the Song Dynasty, the tri-colored Kilns and woudshops of the Tang dynasty as well as the celadon-making workshops of the Jin Dynasty, reflectiong directly and vividly the production scale and the complete process of technologies of the Yaozhou Kiln. The main parts for the basic exhibition of the museum are consisted of 3 parts and 7 exhibitions. "The exhibition of the history of Yaozhou Kiln" exhibites thousand of cultural relics, reflecting the burning history of more than 800years of the Kilns; In "Demonstration and Participation",demonstrated by artians, visitors may personally take a hand in the work, learning ghe delight of production through practice, In "reference and Research" technological personnel and teachers and students of collegues to practice and research.
   We hope the Yaozhou Kiln Museum may be a classroom following the trail of history and seeking knowledge, a Temple of God to observe and learn from the aesthetic feelings and mold person's temperaments, a bridge to meet history and future.

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