Ancient kiln replica being built in China

June 10th, 2012 - 11:37 am ICT by IANS  

Beijing, June 10 (IANS) A replica of a kiln dating back to the Song dynasty (960-1279) is being rebuilt in a Chinese city which has a history of producing quality pottery going back 1,700 years.

It is being rebuilt in Jingdezhen city of the country’s Jiangxi province, dubbed the country’s ceramics capital. For hundreds of years, this place represented the best in porcelain art across the world.

A group of porcelain (a ceramic material made by heating raw materials) archaeologists, scholars and inheritors of intangible cultural heritages Saturday attended the launch ceremony for rebuilding the kiln on China’s National Cultural Heritage Day, Xinhua reported.

The kiln, known as the “dragon kiln” for having an appearance of a dragon lying on a slope, originated in the Warring States, or Warring Kingdoms period (475 BC-221 BC).

According to Li Meng, deputy chief of the Jiangxi provincial ceramics research institute, in accordance with ancient practices, the kiln will be heated by burning pine wood.

With the development of the porcelain industry and improvements to the shape of kilns, the Song dynasty witnessed the peak period for building the dragon kiln, said Li.

The replica, however, is not the first ancient-style kiln to be fired in recent years.

In 2009, Jingdezhen recreated a 300-year-old wood-fired ceramic kiln, the largest of its kind. In 2010, the city successfully fired a replica of the Gourd Kiln, a style of kiln that dates back to the Ming dynasty (1368-1644).

According to Zhou Ronglin, director of the Jingdezhen Ceramic Culture Heritage Protection Centre, the city is also planning to rebuild other forms of traditional kilns that have disappeared over time.

“By rebuilding and firing the ancient style of kiln, we can better inherit and preserve techniques like kiln-building and ceramic-firing,” Zhou said.

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