This is the inner courtyard, the bricks having been worn smooth with thousands of workers footsteps.
This is called a saggar they were created specially at the factory from local clay to stack the china in to go in to the kiln. There was an art to creating them properly.
The three ingredients that make porcelain china.
Moulds that were used to form tea cups.
Here is a pictures of a saggar that was stacked for the kiln.
Here are two of the bottle kilns. There is the bottle shaped exterior and the coal burning kiln sits inside this bottle.
Peering into the narrow doorway showing a fully stacked kiln.
One of the coal burning furnaces that ring the kiln.
A group of pottery workers.
Another group of workers...they don't seem too unhappy. Yet when you read the details of their working conditions you see how difficult it really was. Most workers were paid by the piece, and if it was fine going into the kiln, but somehow the firing failed and all the pieces of china were ruined, they would not get paid at all. They were only paid for pieces that came out of the kiln in saleable condition. Eventually there was a law passed that changed this, and they were paid for pieces that were good quality when they went into the kiln. And that is only one of the difficulties. Many of the jobs included serious health risks, as well as the fact that a child as young as 5 could be working there all day too. It wasn't until about the 1900's that children were not permitted to work at the factory.
Hundreds of moulds left sitting on the shelves.
We toured many areas of the factory, the clay room, the slip room, the plate making area... and in one room was a man doing fine painting. He was very interesting to speak to. This tiny tea set he made for his wife. He said the dots were much harder to paint than the actual scene. This set is in 1:12th scale.
This photo is taken through the glass into the chemist's office, where he measured out the powders for paints.
Paints stored in jars.
I felt very lucky to get a glimpse of this book through the post office window. It is a very old pattern book. The artists would paint in and number the pattern in the book.
This museum is such a learning experience. I now have a much better idea of how some of my tea cups were made. I also have more appreciation for the people who created them.
I want to thank each of you who joined in T.T. last week. I am sorry to say that I have not visited any of you yet! We have had very spotty Internet. I am very lucky tonight that I have had the chance to create this post. I will catch up with all of you when I return home.
If you would like to join in this week. Just go and create a post with your tea cup in it and then come back here and link below with the actually post you are linking up. Martha and I look forward to seeing your gorgeous china!
Hugs to you all.