View of Jingdezhen

We just had our recess week, during which many of us traveled out of Hangzhou. Personally, I also took a break from our theme project and spent 5 days in Jingdezhen 景德镇 for a Pottery Culture experience.

View of Jingdezhen

When we arrived on the first day, we were given a tour of the place and the guide introduced us to the various processes involved in making pottery works. It was definitely eye-opening to see the amount of time, skill and effort required of the craftsmen in producing said pottery, and the fun didn’t stop there because we also got to try making some pottery ourselves! (emphasis on try)

Sunning Rack
Master at work
SUTDent at work
SUTDent no. 2 at work

We then visited numerous places of interests such as the Chinese Ceramics Museum, Lotte Fair (pottery flea market of sorts) and Tao Xichuan over the next few days. Learning about the history of ceramics and seeing the huge variety of designs in pottery works was really mind-boggling. I used to think that the design of ceramics was confined to traditional mediums (vases, plates, cups etc.) but after visiting the various sites, I realised that craftsmen and students were transferring pottery skills over to other artifacts and mediums. This definitely made me rethink the presumptions I had about the transferability of any sort of skill.

Olympic ceramic figures
Snow leopard with adapted porcelain drying technique to achieve skin effect
Posing at the Art Museum :p

On the last day, we had the chance to design and paint our own porcelain plates. I would say that this was definitely one of the many highlights of the trip! Despite having doubts in our own artistic skills, we still went ahead and showcased our SUTD ‘can-do’ spirit, which is evident from the number of plates we designed in the end!

Our plates
SUTDents with our favourite designs

Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. The 5 days in Jingdezhen flew by really quickly and before I knew it, we were all back in Zhejiang University. With less than 3 weeks to the final showcase of our theme projects, everyone has started to dive into their work (for our group, it’s a 200-page pdf documentation of d3…) Let the grind begin!

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