The Glaze Mystery..

Porcelain Sui glaze Jar
When I first started working with ceramics I thought glazes were not interesting, being way too bold and fat, hiding the purity of form and the pulsating quality of the wet clay. 
For many years I turned to sculpture and thought ceramics too limiting as I felt the glazes stifled the form. 

Then seeing the ancient Raku bowls, the Sung and the Chosun Pots, I realised how mistaken I was! 
I then  tirelssly tryed to make glazes that could generate an emotional response. 
Ceramic surfaces, like fabric are limitless in their appeal.. 
I believe their very nature is somewhat 'mysterious' and can trigger wonder, and emotion.
 I believe pots can hold an 'essence' . 
glaze is like skin- the interface- the point of contact drawing the viewer in, inviting us to touch..


In this case a sensual milkyness, something soft that seems palpable, fluid, tender yet firm. 
The other day I sent a bowl to Taiwan for Stephane from the blog Teamasters.

The glaze was a duck egg white that has hints of blue to it,
 based on my reseach into the ancient White chinese glazes.
 I have been working on this glaze for five years.

I have now made this glaze even softer by calcinating the China clay I use in the glaze.
 I don't think I will change much to it now. Probably my finest glaze!



Philippe m'a envoyé une photo d'une dégustation de Long Jin en Herbe ..

Heureux de voire mes pièces utilisées.

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. 

Celadon Tea set




2 teacups neither small nor too large, confortable for all teas. 
Sencha, Darjeeling, Red tea, Pu ehr, Oloong ..this is the most versatile shape. 
 Celadon Pitcher & Teaboat. 
A used water bowl in Cealdon is also available. 

Please email me for prices and availability. Made to order 3 weeks till delivery.

mrmfrancois@gmail.com 

Set en Celadon 
2 tasses à Thé  ni trop grandes ni petites, ces tasses sont adaptées pour tous Thés. 
Bateau à thé et Pichet Celadon. Un bol à eaux usées est aussi disponible. 

Passez moi un mail pour le prix. Temps de livraison 3 semaines. 
(photo credit Paul Mounsey)

3 Chawans

Ash glazed Chawan Teabowl
Black Seto Teabowl Chi'en shape
Chestnut Ash Teabowl Michel Francois

These 3 Teabowls are flying off to New York. I know they will be cherished..
(photo credit Paul Mounsey)