Question:

What is Celadon?

Cheong-Ja Celadon

Cheong-Ja - This is the name of the jade green pottery and is called either "celadon" as we have called it here, or "green celadon" to distinguish it from other types of Korean pottery. The literal meaning of the word Cheong-Ja is blue/green porcelain.

The Koryo Dynasty

The Koryo Dynasty, which lasted from 918 to 1392 AD had a strong Buddhist influence which shaped many of it's cultural achievements. Buddhist temples flourished during the Koryo period, and with them grew a need for fine vessels to be used during the many ritual ceremonies. In the middle of the 10th century Korean artists, some who had been schooled in China, began creating celadon by using inlay and copper glazing techniques which were developed first in China but only fully developed and perfected by Korean artisans. The Korean use of these techniques were unique in the history of pottery. The level of fine quality and beauty they were able to achieve in their work surpassed that of other countries and came to be revered by even the Chinese for it's elegant, yet simple beauty. The Koryo Royal Court also used some of the finest examples of celadon pottery in their palaces both as vessels for daily use and as objects of fine art.

The finest examples of celadon were produced during the middle and latter part of the 11th century by artisans who remain unknown today. With the Mongol Invasions which started in 1231 AD the flourishing culture began to decline, and along with it, the quality of the pottery being produced. By the beginning of the Chosun Dynasty (1392-1910) most of the delicate manufacturing techniques for celadon had been lost.

White Porcelain (Baek-Ja)

White Porcelain (Baek-Ja)
White porcelain appeared in the early 16th Century and like the earlier brown porcelain, was widely manufactured and used by the common people throughout Korea.

Celadon

Celadon: A high firing glaze of Chinese
origin which is characterised by the
effects of reduction firing on small
amounts of iron in the glaze, giving a
rang of colours from pale grey or
blue-green to a deep olive green.

Celadon

Edouard's Celadon Vert
Cone 9
Custer spar 43.5%
Silica 28.1%
E.P.kaolin 10.3%
Whiting 18.1%
Bentonite 1%
Red iron oxide 1.7%

Thank you to Edouard Bastarache
for supplying glaze recipie.

The late 16th century

During the late 16th century the Japanese launched a series of invasions into Korea (ImJinWaeRan) and forcibly relocated many of the Korean artisans to Japan. These transplanted artisans helped to influence the direction and style of Japanese pottery and arts and account for the great similarity between the Korean and Japanese arts.

Celadon (Cheong-Ja) - the Stuff of Kings

The History of Korean Celadon
Celadon (Cheong-Ja) - the Stuff of Kings
Though the history of Korean pottery stretches back to the Neolithic age and the rough "Black Comb Pottery" produced by early tribes, the pinnacle of Korean pottery was the development and perfection of celadon (Cheong-Ja) during Korea's Koryo Dynasty.

Bun-Cheong Celadon

Bun-Cheong - This is the name of the brown or light brown pottery and, although a misnomer since celadon literally means green, it is sometimes called "brown celadon". For lack of a proper western term for this unique Korean pottery we have called it by either its true name, Bun-cheong, or "brown porcelain" to help distinguish it from the other colors of pottery.

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