Chinese Pottery



Pottery is a practice adopted by man many years before the birth of Christ. Chinese pottery also has a very old history and it tells us the story of inception of civilisations. Each period in this nation's history has its unique style of forming pottery .Chinese pottery is an important object to have a full understanding of Chinese culture.

Chinese Pottery of the Neolithic Period

The Chinese ceramic pottery of this period is of two distinct kinds: that of the Yangshao Culture and that of the Longshan Culture. The pottery of China that belongs to the Yangshao culture is painted pottery. It is characterized by geometric designs and dates back to 5000-7000 years ago. In the making of painted pottery, the wheel was not used. The black pottery of the Longshan culture is 4000 years old. This ancient pottery from China was not painted or decorated in any other manner. It had a polished exterior.

Both these types of ceramic pottery from China were not made for daily use. For everyday purposes, a plain pottery that was black, red, white or gray was used.

Chinese Pottery of Shang Dynasty

During this time from the 16 th century BC to the 11 th century BC, pottery was only used by the common people who could not afford bronze vessels. The Chinese clay pottery of this period is inspired by the decoration on its bronze counterparts.

Chinese Pottery of Han Dynasty

During this time, handmade Chinese pottery included ceramic animals and warriors in addition to traditional pottery. These warrior figures made of terracotta have been discovered in Xian. They are called the Terracotta Warrior, and are the greatest archaeological excavation of the twentieth century.

Chinese Pottery of the Three Kingdoms Period

In the period from 220 AD to 280 AD, the traditional Chinese Pottery was gradually replaced by Chinese porcelain ware.

Chinese Pottery of Tang Dynasty

The Tang Dynasty that reigned from 618 AD to 907 AD is famous for its glazed pottery. Artists added various metal oxides to the clay to create this glazed Chinese clay pottery. Some of the shades achieved in this way were light yellow, reddish brown, light green.

In addition to these three glazes, the Chinese were later to produce several other colors as well, such as rough pink, coral red and mirror black. They also created the famous ‘tea-dust' glaze, which is basically an opaque glaze that has a sprinkling of colors such as green, yellow and brown.

Chinese Pottery of the Song Dynasty

In the Song Dynasty of 960 – 1279 AD, a particular kind of clay pottery called purple clay pottery was popular. People felt that tea that brewed in a purple clay teapot was of better quality and taste than that served in a pot made of another material.

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