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Changsha Kiln

Changsha Kiln is located near Shizhu Lake, Wangchen County, Changsha, and used to be called Shizhu Kiln. It was established in the Middle of Tang Dynasty (ca. 766-836 AD), became prosperous in Late Tang Dynasty (ca. 836-907 AD), and declined during the Five Dynasties (907-960 AD).

Changsha Kiln developed more than 70 new porcelain styles and was the first to use a new craftwork technique of underglazed enamels. Moreover, the decoration of porcelain by inscribed poem, handwriting and painting was also its invention. Being the first kiln to export porcelain to other parts of the world, Changsha Kiln is very important in the Chinese history of porcelain. Over the years, our museum has collected a large number of the porcelain works produced by Changsha Kiln owing to the unique geographic advantage.

The porcelain of Changsha Kiln is these pieces of  porelain from Changsha Kiln in Tang Dynesty.The kiln site is now located nearby the Shizhu Lake by the Tongguan Town,Wangcheng Country,Changsha city.It was called Shizhu since very early and was recorded in The History of jin Dynasty,a large number of Kiln worker from the north moved here and made porcelain with the local peple,then it was called Shizhu Kiln.Four Chinese characters are on the porcelain tray form the Changsha Kiln which was salvaged form a sunken Indonisian ship Black Stone.Hunan poet Li Qunyu called called the kiln Shizhu when he described the kiln’s prosperous scene.The kiln fell into decay in the Five Dynasties(707-960),and was forgotten after the Song Dynsty.People forgot its flourishing sight until the fifities when the arckeologists rediscovered it.Standing at the area of Changsha Kiln,facing the vast expanse of ruins,and feeling the thick historical and cultural congeal,you could nuturally think of Li Qunyu’s poem:

     Using clay to make utensils,Setting big trunks on fire;The flame tints the river red,The smoke blends into Dongting clouds;Coal ashes pervade all around,The sounds transmit into the remote;The ground was excavated here and there,There are big holes all over.You can still see the busy sight from a distante place.

     The Tang kilns stood in great numbers.Taking bronze porcelain of Yue Kiln in Zhejiang Province in South and taking white porcelain of Xing Kiln in Hebei Province in North as representatives,they formed different production pattern between north and south.Changsha Kiln upsurged for its colorful porcelain,unrivaled in these famous kilns,and a situation of tripartite confrontation in porcelain industy formed.The first burning and popularity of the underglaze colour made the Changsha Kiln very important in China’s history of porcelain.

      After the eclipse of the Changsha kiln,its decorative technique has inherited by Cizhou kiln.The Changsha kiln was commonly used on ewer,while the painting and calligraphy of Cizhou kiln has no more appeared on the ewer but on pillows.Most porcelain ewers were used on ublic,so it always appeared some poets to express poet’s ambition,while the porcelain pillow was relatively private,so the content on was about innermost feelings.We also found some love poets written in the pillow of Changsha porcelain kiln,which was considered as the beginning of the decoration of painting and calligraphy of Cizhou kiln.

      The Changsha Kiln prospered in later time,but developed very fast.Its product covered large area,not only selling in domestic area,but also in eastern Asian,southern Asian and western Asian,even as far as northeast Africa,so the Changsha kiln was called the first export porcelain.Combinning foreign culture into product was the secret of Changsha kiln to dig the first overseas barrel of gold.At the time,only Changsha kiln designed,manufactured ,packed product according to the requirement of overseas market We can say that Changsha kiln played a very important role in opening the maritime road of ceramic in Tang dynasty.

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