| The earliest glaze with color
among the Chinese porcelain emerges in the South. It is called
celadon glaze. The so-called "celadon glaze" doesn't
mean that the color is pure cyan. Usually, it means processing
several colors such as yellow, green, cyan and so on. But it
is more or less suffused with a little turquoise. At the same
time, cyan, green and blue are often called "cyan"
by the ancients. For example, "The ancient porcelain is
cyan. But cyan includes green and blue." has been said
by Xu Zhiheng in the Talk about Porcelain at Yinliuzhai. "Cyan
is often confused with blue. After gloom comes brightness, the
cyan in Jun kiln and Yuan kiln are similar to blue… only plum
green, thousand peaks in emerald color, bean green belong to
pure cyan. The sky is blue. But sometimes, it also takes on
cyan." has been said by Liu Zifen in the Talk about pottery
at the Bamboo Garden.
green glazed vase
in the shape of a gourd (Qianlong)
The celadon glaze uses iron as major stained element
and calcium oxide as major latent solvent in the successive dynasties
of our country. The colored glaze containing iron oxide is fired
yellow by oxidizing flame and then takes on cyan by reducing flame.
On the other hand, the iron oxide content of the glaze has a close
contact with color produced in glaze. For example, the iron content
of celadon oil material makes up 2%-3% in the Yue kiln and Wuzhou
kiln in ancient times. Therefore, the color of the glaze is relatively
deep. It takes on bean green. The iron oxide content of the celadon
glaze makes up 1.54% in the Ou kiln in the Tang Dynasty. Therefore,
the color is pale green. The highly iron content of the reddish
purple clay is used to compound black glaze in the Deqing kiln.
The iron content of the glaze reaches 6%-8%. Therefore, the color
is black just like lacquer.
| Piao, original intention, is a kind
of pale green silk. The so-called "piaose" means the
color of the glaze of the celadon like piao. The color of the
glaze of the Ou ware is piaose. In other words, it is pale green.
Because the composition of the cyan makes up a large proportion
in the pale grey green. But different duration and degree of
heating leads to different color produced in glaze. Some are
dark grey green, green, olivine, some are even grey and kermesinus.
The quality of the glaze is divided into two kinds: one is transparent
glass glaze. The glaze is thick and it has a lot of cracks.
The other is semitransparent glass glaze. It is fired by reducing
| Informal Essay Written at Gaozhai
records " It is said that secret color ware is used as
tribute to the king in the Qian clan. It is fired at Yuezhou.
The official and the common people in feudal times cannot use
it. Therefore, it is called secret color." The latter documents
also agree to this viewpoint. In fact, secret color is one kind
of the celadon color tones. The color is greyblue and there
is no light on the cover coat.
The secret color does not originate from the Qian
clan. It has already this kind of color in the Tang Dynasty. It
flourishes in the Five Dynasties, declines in the period of Nangsong
and is interrupted in the Yuan and Ming Dynasty. When the secret
color ware is fired at Shanglin Lake, Yuyao, in the Song Dynasty,
the color is no longer that kind of immature reduced color tone
which a tiny yellow in cyan, but is a light green just like transparent
water in the lake. Therefore, it is also called jade by foreign
| Pale blue is one kind of the lime-alkali
glazes. It uses the oxide of iron as major color agent. At the
same time, it contains a little manganese or titanium. The way
of making pale color is green glazing. The thickness of the
glaze is 1--- 2.5cms. It is fired by reducing flame at a high
temperature in the kiln. The color of the glaze is turquoise.
It has an artistic effect like the jade. Pale blue glaze initiates
in Longquan ware during the period of Nangsong. Both the official
kiln in the Song Dynasty and Jingdezhen have successful pale
| Bean green originates from Longquan
kiln in the Song Dynasty. At first, Dong celadon and bean green
belong to one kind. Henceforth, they begin to have their own
characteristics respectively. It is close to yellow slightly
before the Ming Dynasty. But it is close to pure green in the
Qing Dynasty. Bean green takes on pale yellow during the years
of Zhengde in the Ming Dynasty. But it takes on deep color during
the years of Kangxi and the cover coat is lubricious. Bean green
glaze is coated on the surface of various kinds of wares but
the bottom and the inside of the ware are still coated with
| It was said that during the rule
of Chai Shizong at the period of the Houzhou of the Five Dynasties,
official governments asked for instructions about the model
and the color employed by the emperor from him. Chai Shizong
asked them to use the color which the sun shines after the rain.
The color of the glaze created on the basis of this color is
called "the color which the sun shines after the rain".
In other words, it is called celeste glaze. It is recorded that
the color of the glaze in Ru kiln is also called celeste blue.