Porcelain is a bitch and then you die
" Porcelain is a bitch and then you die " Gareth Mason
First things first,
When I attended the Bezalel Academy, at the Department of Ceramic and Glass Design, I earned my Bachelors of the Fine Arts. I was very interested in porcelain and I began to passionately study where I could learn from the best. My research led me all over the world! From the modern factory Ćmielów, in Poland, to the other side of the world in China, where porcelain was invented in a city named Jingdezhen.
The first thing that you should know about porcelain, is that it has a life of its own.
If you want to create something good, you need to let the porcelain take control. I started my porcelain adventures in Poland, where I stayed for over 3 months. In Poland, I trained in the famous porcelain Ćmielów factory. Ćmielów has a huge basement under the factory. There they have mixer machines that continuously mix porcelain powder with water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At the end of the process, these mixers pour the liquid porcelain into a pipe that runs throughout the factory. It was all an amazing sight to see.
The traditional art is widely recognized and often the winner of most competitions.
From my time in Poland, I earned an invitation to the world-wide porcelain competition in Beijing, where artists from around the world competed for the coveted Franz Award. The Franz Award recognizes the porcelain industries top artist. For my efforts and combined experience, I was able to earn this amazing recognition.
That brought me to Jingdezhen, China, where I worked in the traditional art of porcelain that is still practiced to this day. The traditional art is widely recognized and often the winner of most competitions.
The first place that I visited was a small town called Sanbao. There I saw an elderly worker hauling Kaolin rocks, from the Kaolin mountains. The worker smashed up the rocks to a fine thin powder which was then mixed with water. Using only his bare hands and a hammer, he took the water from a river and shaped the mixture into a block. Seeing both of these techniques allowed me to understand and appreciate the effort that goes into porcelain.
Please join me on my next blog where I will expand on my other experiences!