Another interesting week I had! And this time it was spent attending the ‘China of China’ workshop organized by ZJU for us ALP students. As the name suggests, it was a workshop to allow us to experience making pottery! The workshop was held in Jingdezhen(景德镇)city, which is a 6 hour bus ride from Hangzhou. You may be wondering at this point, why travel so far just to do pottery? Well, Jingdezhen is known as the “Porcelain City” of China and has been producing pottery for 1,700 years. Its pottery making roots run deep and Jingdezhen is still one of the world’s most important centres for pottery production so it was definitely  worth the travel there!

Pottery production in Jingdezhen

We were there for a total of 3 days  and each day we were taught different skills and hands-on experience to experiment ourselves. The first lesson was on making pottery by hand(without using any machine assistance). It was very much like using PlayDough except using clay instead, where we start by first creating a base and building up from there to create various shapes.

This was my first attempt

Next we were taught how to use the spinning wheel to create pottery. Personally this my favourite part of the course, different shapes can be created very quickly and with relative ease as compared to the previous method. However, it is definitely not as easy as how the pottery masters seem to do it! In my many attempts, pressing or pinching a little too hard would cause the entire thing to deform or even collapse!

Pottery made from the spinning wheel

Lastly was designing of the pottery product before they are glazed. We were taught different skills of painting and carving  to give the pottery products various looks.

I certainly enjoyed this experience and it was a week well spent! Back to working on my Smart Wardrobe project!

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