Sung Dynasty - Timeless & Contemporary..

I thought you might all enjoy a bit of writing about what makes Sung Ceramics so fascinating.
Like the sculpture of Constantin Brancusi, these ancient pots seem to capture so much essence in their simplicity. With the Korean Chosun dynasty pots, made at about the same time, they never seem to loose their grip on me. I've been sucked in .. and will forever continue to be inspired by them.

This piece has flown off to its owner in Taiwan.

"Chinese Ceramics of the Sung Dynasty are probably the classic expression not only of ceramic art in China, but in all the world. By classic we mean that the ceramics of the Sung achieved a unity of the essentials of the ceramic art which has never been surpassed. 

Shape, potting techniques, glaze, from both an aesthetic and chemical standpoint, the techniques of using the materials and firing them were all unified at the highest level. 

The result was a flawless series of wares which still commands the respect and admiration as well as the despair of the modern potter. 

In general, the shapes of the Sung Dynasty wares are extremely simple. They tend to be subtle, one form flowing into an other, in contrast to the ceramics of the Tang Dynasty and earlier. While one can speak of the neck, body and foot of a Tang ceramic, it is very difficult to know in many Sung wares where the neck commences, the body leaves off, or the foot begins.  One form flows with ease into the other, producing a unified effect. The glazes of Sung ceramics tend to be monochromatic and have surfaces that are usually rather soft and mat. They appear to be an integral part of the form of the ceramic object and have wondrous depth and texture inviting the spectator to touch. 

This was achieved by a pragmatic chemistry which, while not skilled or knowledgeable from the stand point of formulas or modern chemical processes, achieved by trial and error a very high level of chemical technique. 

Fortunatly their chemical method was not prefect, and consequently their glazes have enough imperfections in the form of chemical impurities to relieve the effect of the glaze from that hard and bright single  colour effect so characteristic of later chinese porcelains. 

The ornament used on Sung ceramic wares was, with the exception of one class, very spare, chaste, and subdued when used at all. Often the ornament was incised or carved on the body before the application of the glaze, which served to hide the ornament to a certain extent, allowing the form of the vessel to dominate the decoration. "Sherman Lee ex-Cleveland Museum Director. 

3 commentaires:

Stephane a dit…

I'm eagerly awaiting my package! Thanks a lot for you dedication and passion. Your fine art finds its roots and beauty from the classic period of the Sung dynasty. It's from a time when no ceramic was signed. People appreciated the ceramic for itself, not for who made it. That's where you find real beauty and no bling-bling.
Merci!

Michel a dit…

Well said Stephane .

Up to know I have resisted the temptation to stamp my work.
The pressure to do so from my customers is getting more and more.

It is also my personal belief that true beauty needs no signature.

The stamp is there for the collector and the art market not to embelish or enrich the art.

Paul Mounsey a dit…

A truly beautiful piece Michel. Colour and form are fantastic.
Paul