China is famous for its elegant and high-quality pottery known as porcelain or china. Over the years, the Chinese developed various ways of making and decorating pottery, and they became experts in their craft. They made things out of porcelain; porcelain and vases were used as decorations in rich people's homes. The blue decorations and white patterned porcelain made in the Ming Dynasty was a popular style. The art and culture of pottery flourished during the Han dynasty period. In addition to everyday ceramic productions, ceramic beasts and warriors were made. The Terra Cotta Warriors discovered in Xi'an are the best representatives of contemporary art. Visitors to the warriors are amazed by the grandeur and vast display of the well-preserved army. During the Three Kingdoms period, porcelain forging techniques gradually replaced traditional ceramic handicrafts.
Red Chinese Pottery Marks
Pottery marks can play an important role in identifying the period in which Chinese artifacts were created. A reign mark holds the name of the Chinese dynasty and emperor's reign during which the piece was made. It consists of four or six Chinese characters. Reign marks are usually written in vertical columns and read from top to bottom and right to left. This system of reading and writing is believed to have grown from the ancient Chinese tradition of writing on vertical strips of bamboo or bone. Reign marks can also be written in a horizontal line which is read from right to left. Imperial reign marks began to appear regularly at the beginning of the Ming Dynasty and continued until the Qing Dynasty. The most common marks on porcelain are written within the double circle in underglaze blue.
Ancient Chinese Pottery
Chinese pottery is also known as Chinese ceramics, is made of clay and heat-hardened. Pottery, stoneware, and porcelain, especially, are made in China. Nowhere in the world have pottery as in China, and the influence of porcelain on European pottery has been profound. The history of Chinese ceramics is long, about 7,000 to 8,000 years ago in the Neolithic period by human ancestors who started making and using pottery. Chinese porcelain is one of the most important inventions of ancient China. People made ancient porcelain in the early Shang dynasty, and original porcelain was first made in the Eastern Han Dynasty. Different types of wares are pottery, china, banshan ware, yingqing ware, ding, dongquan ware, cizhou kiln, jian ware.
Blue and White Chinese Pottery
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, blue-and-white wares were produced in China. From China, underglaze blue was introduced to Europe. During the Tang Dynasty, blue colors' importance was raised in the history of Chinese ceramics. The distinctive color in the blue glazed ceramic and porcelain comes from cobalt ore imported from Persia, which was a rare ingredient and was used only in limited quantities. Blue and white ware cover a wide range of white pottery and porcelain decorated under the glaze with a blue pigment. Decorations are usually made by hand, initially through brush painting, but nowadays by stenciling or transfer printing, although other application methods have been used.