The scenery along the way on the bus ride

For people who have been reading this blog regularly, you might reflexively be expecting me to talk about how busy we are this week and how much workload we have been having, but you would be mistaken as all that changes for this week. Since DIP ended with the product launch last Saturday, we figured we will take a quick break this week before diving headfirst into our ALP project. In order to maximise this small bit of free time that we have, some of us joined the trip down to JingdeZhen (景德镇), a town known as the Porcelain Capital. As its name suggests, it is a town that is very famous for producing porcelain, and so IDI organised a trip for us to go down and try some porcelain making of our own.

It was a short 5-day experience. The first day was pretty much entirely spent travelling, as it took us nearly six hours to get there by bus! The bus ride was pretty scenic though, so we had that going for us:

Even the rest stop was scenic!

Needless to say, the last day was also spent travelling, which meant we had three days of lessons.

On the first day, we learnt two different methods of shaping clay: one of the methods was the pottery wheel which most of us would be familiar with, and the other would be the layering method, which involves shaping clay into long “noodles” and layering them to build up the structure. The layering method really reminded me of 3D printing – perhaps the inventor of 3D printers had experience with clay crafting too!

A cup created using the layering method
A student trying his hand at the pottery wheel – not as easy as it looks!

The second and third days were then spent painting porcelain that was already pre-shaped. The first day we practised underglaze blue painting (the typical blue painting that we see on china) and on the second day we did multicolor painting.

Students trying their hand at underglaze blue painting
Our teacher giving us a demonstration on multicolor painting

As someone who has absolute confidence in the lousiness of my handicraft skills, I was sure that I would make pretty low-quality products (spoiler alert: they were not good). Nonetheless, it was a really cool experience and I’m glad to have went for this trip!

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