Sunday, April 28, 2013

The glaze fit for a king

Winding down a weekend with family and friends, sharing some amazing company, food and wines, and great fishing trip on the Rogue. We caught a lot of fish, saw several eagles and a few pairs of Canadian geese with their babies. My son bought me a fantastic jacket at the fishing shop, but I had to remove it the minute the boat hit the river, because it was already too warm for a jacket by 9 am.

Our son left for L.A. this morning and after a last bit of visit time with him, then dropping off something for a friend, we've spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying a lazy Sunday with reading the papers and doing the daily "have tos".

I met this wonderful gal at a party last night and we got into a conversation about Chinese glazes. She's the assistant vice president and senior specialist in Chinese works of art at Sotheby's and I was intrigued about the Ru ware she spoke of. Ru ware, from Northern China, was only produced for around 20-30 years and only produced for royalty; and there are only 70 known pieces to have survived since 900 AD, and they survived because they've always been highly treasured. She said that although they have the analysis of the glaze, no one has ever been able to replicate it's unique qualities.

So, being the curious animal I am, I spent quite a bit of time late last night and this morning reading up on this glaze. I'd love to play with those known formulas and see if I could get something close to it in my small gas kiln. But that journey will have to wait a year or so until I finish current projects.

A small Ru ware bowl, sold at Sotheby's for 26.7 million dollars. Rarity creates such economic windfalls. The glaze has many variations, obviously from kiln placement, amount of reduction, firing temperature, etc. So, like an amateur sleuth, I've been digging up as much information as I can. It doesn't seem likely that I could ever replicate this glaze, but it would sure be fun and challenging to try. In fact, some of the photos I've seen of the blue green variation of the glaze, look a lot like my blue green celadon, at least, color wise. But I think there's an optical blue quality to the most prized of this ware, similar to, but not quite like a chun glaze.

If you want a peek at this glaze fit for a king, check it out at the link below.

Tomorrow I'll be back to reality in the studio re-mixing, my very common clear, earthenware glaze and dipping the latest bisqued, stain tests; but maybe day dreaming a bit about Ru ware.


  1. So the wine pot for sale for $299 at might be a fake?

  2. Someone probably took the analysis of the Ru glaze and created a glaze. So they could sell it as a Ru glaze but not a pot from that period.
    If you do a search for Ru glaze, or Ru Ceramics, you can actually find some modern versions; but no one has been able to duplicate the subtle difference till this day.