Hi there! How are you doing today? Me? I’m doing alright but I’m rather disappointed at the moment. I found out in order to “free” the images from the new Canon digital camera we bought yesterday, we have to register with Canon for an online photo album! Whatever happened to being able to take a picture and keep it to yourself if you want to?! The previous software for the Canon Powershot I’ve been using allowed direct download to my computer without having it be online. We are taking the camera back! Sadly, I don’t know if I’m going to find a digital camera that doesn’t require this….research time. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know! Looking for a camera $250 or less, simple to use and I want to be able to keep the images private if I want to! That’s what we get for buying on the fly! It’s a great camera except for that! GRRRRR!
Yesterday, despite the steady rains, our neighbors were having a garage sale and we decided to take our coin jar over and see if we found anything interesting. Our neighbors are liberating themselves from the confines of a house and are moving into their travel trailer and all the stuff they absolutely don’t need has to go! Well, as soon as I walked in the garage I saw “her” and was smitten! My friend Michelle, who passed away in October 2015, liked to collect dolls and figurines and I could see why she chose this one. At closer examination, I noticed several of her fingers were broken and that made her even more endearing. She’s like the Virgin Mary statue my Dad passed on to me that’s been in our family for a LONG time. Her hands are broken too and she has had her head glued back on more than once! These women of clay are beautiful and “flawed” just like me! Just like Michelle was….sigh. As I held the figurine talking to our neighbors, I got really teary…..missed my friend. You know what’s neat? Michelle had put a pink, sparkly butterfly on her lap! Pink spirit messages right?!!!
I have been trying not to collect anymore things you have to dust but Kyle decided I had to have her anyways….obviously he isn’t the one who dusts at our house LOL!
This morning I decided to do a little research and see if I could find out anything about her origins and turns out she is a Shiwan (Chinese) Ceramic/porcelain figurine called Joyful. Well of course I was drawn to her….my middle name is Joy!!
http://www.art-sam.com/shop/shiwan-history-of-the-chinese-ceramic-captial-china-ezp-9.html?chapter=1 – a little history about Shiwan pottery
Shiwan – History of the Chinese Ceramic Captial, China
Shiwan Pottery – Trace back to five thousand years ago
Many sand earthenware, soft and hard earthenware decorated pieces have been unearthed from the Beiqiu Relic of the New Stone Age excavation in Hedang, Shiwan. The decorating patterns include string, trellis design, leaf, ladder-shaped trellis, frogs, etc.. According to the carbon 14 dating by the Beijing Archaeological Studies Office, these pieces were made four thousand nine hundred to five thousand years ago. This archaeological finding has overturned the saying that Shiwan’s Pottery Industry was moved from the north in Song Dynasty. An historical perspective has a poetic appreciation of “Shiwan tile, the best in the world”. The surviving dragon kiln “Ancient Nanfeng Kiln”, symbolizes the outstanding technique of Shiwan pottery.
Ancient Nanfeng Kiln – Firing for five hundred years
To open the mysterious mask of an old dragon kiln, to show the legend of an ancient ceramic town, to extend the dragon’s life of five hundred years, the history of Nanfeng ancient kiln is worth studying and researching.
Ancient Nanfeng kiln was built during the Zhengde years of Ming Dynasty (1506-1521), a rare dragon kiln with a history of almost 500 years that is still in use for making ceramics nowadays. It is now the Key Culture Relic Unit of Ancient Kiln in Guangdong Province.
For nearly five hundred years the flame has never died out, with constant production. Thus the kiln has been kept completely without any damage, which is rare in China. It is the oldest dragon kiln left in China and the important cultural protection site of Guangdong Province.
The opening of Nanfeng kiln faces the south. The far end is under the green shade of banyan trees, which brought cool breeze in summer, so the kiln was called “Nanfeng” as it meant as “south breeze”. During the long years, the production had never been stopped for repairs. The present chimney of the kiln was built in modern times. The kiln has a total length of 34.4 meters. There are 29 rows of fire holes (5 for every row) on the kiln. It is said that one fire for each row totals 29 fires. The fire hole is used to stoke with wood during the firing. There are 4 doors on the side of the kiln, for the loading and removal of products.
The Art of Flame – Mysterious and unpredictable
The composition and heat given out during the wood firing bring limitless changes to the clay and glaze.
The dragon kiln is divided into upper, middle and lower sections with three levels of temperature, low, medium and high, varying from 900 to 1300 degrees Celsius, and operated and controlled solely by the kiln master, to fire different kind of earthenware.
To maintain the reducing atmosphere, the kiln master controls the duration and degree of heating and the changes during firing, making decisions only by his discerning eyes and operating according to changes of circumstance. After firing for 20 hours, and waiting until the kiln cools, it is then ready to open. The resulting produce is in dazzling colors including blue, red, white and green.
Review the whole course of pottery making, which reflects the hardship and intelligence of pottery makers.
The old Shiwan Ceramic Town at the kilns twenty miles south of the city of Canton in Guangdong province. This is the most famous city in China in creating ceramic products nearly 500 years. Most of the National Master-pieces and Museum pieces created there have been being collected in the national museum and by collectors all over the world.
Shiwan Ceramics was shaped in Tang and Song Dynasty (618-906AD) and flourished in Ming and Qing Dynasty.
The main products such as artistic ceramics, ancient garden ceramics, Spanish-type roof tile, western-style roof tile, stone-resembled tile, stone-porcelain tile, artistic garden tile, etc. are famous worldwide, especially statues. There a professional team of art masters has inherited and developed the outstanding tradition of Shiwan ceramic techniques ranging from lively earthen figures, statues and animals with thick and earthy ceramic glaze, to modern ceramics of plain, elegant and fresh patterns, thus forming its own unique artistic style and making Shiwan ceramic techniques extraordinarily splendid.
The artistic ceramics of Shiwan are divided into four types of figurines, animals, micro-sculpts and daily utensils, of which the figure ceramics is granted the national Golden Medal in three consecutive times, the animal ceramics is granted the Hundred Flowers Medal and Silver Cup Medal, micro-sculpt and daily utensils are granted Quality Product Medal of Guangdong Province. Following the principle of “quality product” is based upon elaboration, each piece of ceramics with “signs” of the art masters is produced via six complicated procedures (including design, plaster molding, pouring slurry for figuration, amending cog, glazing and burning).
Because of the superlative and delicate craftmanship of Shiwan pottery, most of the Ceramic Sculptures and Ceramic Figurines created there have been being collected in the national museum and by collectors all over the world. Shiwan Chinese Ceramic Figurines and Ceramic Sculptures is nowadays a popular idea for special gifts, Chinese collectibles and as home decor figurines.
http://art-sam.com/shop/sister-shiwan-master-chinese-ceramic-porcelain-lady-figurine-p-414.html – Joyful by herself
http://art-sam.com/shop/sister-shiwan-master-chinese-ceramic-porcelain-lady-figurine-p-414.html – Sister
After I finished finding out the info about Joyful, I decided to see what I could find out about a little figurine my Dad brought back for me when I was a little girl from China Town in New York City. From what I can tell, I am thinking he’s one of what is called “mudmen.” He’s probably not from the ancient times, but he is definitely old now…over 40 years at least!
Shiwan mudman or mudmen also called Shiwan Gong-zai.
Mudman/ mudmen is the translation from Chinese words (Ni-ren) meaning figurines made from clay. The mudman are actually made of stoneware clay.
Shiwan is a small town located in Guangdong province, China. Pottery making in Shiwan went back thousand years, stoneware sculpture of the realistic figures making reaching its heights in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and Qing dynasty (1644-1911). There are literally tenth of thousands of kilns in Shiwan making the stoneware. Traditionally, the mudman are mainly made by the pinch method of hand sculpting. Now days, slip casting and press mold are also used. Different colored clays are used to distinguish the skin, beard, cloth, or other details. Usually, unglazed clay represents skin. Shiwan mudman originally was used in architecture (to sit on roofs), representing historical heroes, Buddha, or gods for temples. Later on, a smaller version unglazed mudmen are developed, their sizes from ¼”to 3″ high miniature figurines called (Shan gong), such as a man reading or fishing, old men playing chess. These miniatures are used to decorating bonsai trees and miniature landscapes.
Interesting right?! I will take good care of her!
My prayers and positive intentions go out to pretty much everywhere these days! My prayers at night are getting less specific and more just for “The All.” “For the loving and most positive good of All.” So many people I know and care about have experienced so much these past couple of years and especially this year!! From losing loved ones, illness, natural disasters and all the other kinds of adversities thrown their way….it’s just been rough. Thankfully, mixed in with these things there has been a constant thread….a lifeline if you want to call it that….Love. Love can be so much more than a feeling….a kind word, deed…a smile. A simple, yet life-saving word for a complicated world.
If you haven’t heard or read it today — I love you!
Just a couple stories that caught my eye:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-serbia-tesla-idUSKCN0YO1B1?feedType=RSS&virtualBrandChannel=11563 – this is about the battle going on (again) over where Nikola Tesla’s ashes should be – in a church or in a museum. It’s sad that it seems, even after he’s dead (like a lot of famous people with tragic stories) he’s still subject to exploitation. I’m pretty sure his ashes are fine right where they are….he’s not there anyways LOL!
http://www.ksl.com/index.php?nid=235&sid=40039792&title=the-latest-too-early-to-say-when-louvre-will-reopen – sad to see the flooding in Western Europe is coming to this!