Jianshui advocates Confucian culture, and there are many literati since then. Part of the daily art of these literati is to take pottery as paper and express their artistic ideas on pottery. Through the decoration technology of wet block painting and filling color, Jianshui purple pottery is unique in Chinese ceramic decoration.
Jianshui purple pottery green color is orange red, there are also white pottery. When decorating, most of the authors inscribe and paint on pottery. Most of these paintings and calligraphy works are traditional patterns, and most of the themes imply auspiciousness, such as Phoenix wearing peony, magpie climbing plum, fish in successive years, bees and butterflies playing with flowers, durian blossoming, etc.
After the painting is completed, it will be accompanied with Tang and Song poetry, celebrity quatrains, broken bamboo scraps and other calligraphy styles. The whole decoration integrates gold and stone, calligraphy and art on it. It has both practical value and aesthetic taste, so it has the name of Arts and crafts pottery.
The next step is the key steps of engraving and filling. Whether the decoration effect can be completely presented and whether the quality of the whole work can be greatly improved depends on whether the carving and filling technology can be done well, and the value difference of a work also lies in this.
“Carving” refers to that craftsmen (most of them are careful female craftsmen) carve along the edge of calligraphy and painting with the help of a tool called “foot knife”. There are several difficulties in this process
First, we should keep the ceramic body in a certain humidity in the process of engraving, because at this moment, we should constantly spray water on the ceramic body, and we should use plastic film to wrap the ceramic body in time to prevent the ceramic body from drying. Some works need carving for a long time, which greatly increases the difficulty of moisturizing.
Second, because the ceramic blank is wet, and the carving needs to be hard, so the process of carving will have the danger of deformation. This requires the craftsman to pay attention to the control of the carving process, not only to carve the calligraphy and painting works in place, but also to avoid the deformation of the ceramic blank.
Third, it is still difficult to control the strength. The thickness of ceramic body varies with different types and different parts of the same type. To a large extent, the strength and the depth of engraving depend on the long-term accumulated experience of the craftsman. Especially for the thin parts of the ceramic body, if the force is too large, it is easy to carve through the ceramic blank, and if the force is too small, the subsequent color filling can not be carried out.
Fourth, the complete expression of painting and calligraphy works. Some paintings are very complicated, requiring craftsmen to carve out every ink mark of the paintings. At the same time, when digging mud, they can’t cut the ink marks, resulting in incomplete calligraphy and painting. In particular, some paintings have bird feathers, human hair, cricket’s antennae and other very subtle parts, which need to show the hair and tentacles. There are also some corners on the cricket’s antennae and cricket’s legs, which also need complete and vivid carving. If you break the ink mark carelessly, even if you make it up, there will be traces after the product comes out. Therefore, if you cut the ink mark, it means that a work is useless.
After the engraving, the next step is to fill mud, which is divided into filling monochrome clay and filling colored clay.
Filling monochromatic clay refers to filling the carved calligraphy and painting with white or black mud on the orange or white pottery. Chinese characters and a small number of simple paintings will be filled with monochromatic mud, while complex paintings will be filled with colored mud. The operation process is called filling color, and the completed works are called color filling.
According to the requirements of the calligraphers and painters and under the guidance of the authors, the craftsmen should use natural clay to make colored clay of different colors and fill in different parts of the painting. If you fill in a lotus picture in color, the lotus leaf is a color, the leaf stem is a color, the petal is a color, and the petal color is too much, which requires the color filling technologist to be very high. Some craftsmen can fill in the required effect according to their own understanding, while most of them need to fill in the color under the guidance of calligraphers and painters or professional artists.
There are also several difficulties in the process of color filling
First, the humidity of the color mud is different from that of the ceramic body, and the shrinkage rate is also different. Therefore, it is necessary to fill and press the clay during the filling process, so that the color mud and the ceramic body are completely bonded together. This process needs to be repeated many times to achieve the desired effect.
Secondly, it is very important to control the strength of filling and pressing repeatedly on the wet adobe. If the force is too small, the color mud and the ceramic body can not be fully bonded; if the force is too large, the ceramic body is easy to deform.
Third, as in carving, a complex painting needs several kinds of colored clay to fill in different parts, which tests the craftsman’s care and patience. Sometimes, when a painting is finished, it needs to prepare hundreds of kinds of colored clay and fill in calligraphy and painting one by one according to the requirements.
Fourth, most of the color filling should be filled in the trunk road. A certain part should be filled with mud of one color. If other parts are covered, the mud of the covered part should be dug out, and then the mud needed for that part should be filled. Some parts need to be filled with mud repeatedly, such as the excessive color of flower petals. In order to make it too natural, many roads need to be filled.
After repeated smoothing and extrusion by the craftsman with a filling knife, the color mud has been integrated with the green body, and has been trimmed. After a few days of dry in the shade, the repair personnel will scrape away the surplus color mud by trimming the blank, and present the filled calligraphy and painting works.
In fact, this short text can not fully describe the complexity and various difficulties in the decoration process of Jianshui purple pottery, but I hope to let our pottery friends understand the basic steps of engraving and filling, and express our respect for the work of our engraving and filling technologists. When you appreciate a beautiful work of color filling, you can appreciate the hard production process behind the work.