A detail from an Edmund de Waal installation. Credit Mike Bruce/Gagosian Gallery
By LAURA MILLER, DEC. 10, 2015, NY Times, Book Review, A Delicate Obsession
A friend of mine inherited a Bavarian coffee set from her maternal great-grandmother, a woman who fled Europe in the late 1930s, carrying little more than the purpose-built, velvet-lined case that still holds it. That family is scattered across the globe and the way of life the coffee set embodied has vanished, but the dainty china pot and matching cups remain flawless. Porcelain is like that. We all know that the sweep of a careless elbow can shatter it into unmendable bits. But take some basic precautions and in a hundred years it will look as good as new — its colors undimmed, its whites snowy — after you and your children are dead and gone. It is fragile, and it is strong.
Invented in China, about 1,000 years ago, porcelain is a ceramic made from a varying mixture of materials, the most indispensable of which is a whitish clay, kaolin. The city of Jingdezhen produced the most beautiful of these objects: bowls, jars, vases and other items created in vast quantities for the imperial court. Porcelain was so abundant in China that when Marco Polo made the first mention of the material in Western literature, it was to marvel that the pieces he encountered in China were “so plentiful and cheap that for a Venetian groat you might buy three bowls of such beauty that nothing lovelier could be imagined.”
Dear All Members, Followers and Likers of our Network pages.We are currently streamlining our pages at the moment and have found that fewer people are now following and using twitter and crafthaus to find out about jewellery events, exhibitions,…See More
"Dear All Members, Followers and Likers of our Network pages.
We are currently streamlining our pages at the moment and have found that fewer people are now following and using twitter and crafthaus to find out about jewellery events, exhibitions,…"
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