It’s no wonder that porcelains are called ‘China’. It reflects the indispensable position in the country of origin. Besides the famous blue and white porcelain, China knows another beautiful form; Longquan celadon, named after the city it was founded. In China this type of porcelain is referred to ‘the embodiment of the Chinese culture,’ due to its history and the progress it brought to the nation and civilization.
Longquan celadon knows two kinds; “Ge kiln” (the elder brother kiln) and “Di kiln” (the younger brother kiln). The origin of this division is quite a funny story. It is said that in ancient times, there were two brothers burning kilns in Longquan. The elder brother’s burning technology was better than that his younger brother. This made the younger brother mad and filled with hatred. He wanted to destroy his elder brother’s reputation by secretly adding a lot of grass and ash into his brother’s glaze. After firing, the glaze of the porcelain was cracked. Not knowing what happened, the older brother decided to take this ‘failed’ porcelain to the market anyway. When he arrived at the market, it unexpectedly turned into a big success. People were very interested in this kind of celadon with cracks and the patterns they formed; some were like ice cracks and some like fish or crab claw patterns. The cracked porcelain was sold out in no time. When the older brother found out what had happened, he kept producing the popular cracked glazed porcelain, and grew famous for it. The younger brother took his losses, and continued burning blue glazed porcelains that were always slightly inferior to the one his elder bother made.
Longquan slowly took over the world. After conquering China, it made its way to the royals and nobles of other countries in the 13th century. And they loved it. The story tells that when it was introduced to Spain, the King of Spain said with emotion: “Longquan celadon makes the most beautiful things, which looks lovelier than all the gold, silver and crystal.” After three more centuries is was gradually welcomed by ordinary people all over the world.
It’s no wonder Longquan celadon has gotten so popular; it’s not only beautiful, but also very practical. This type of porcelain can be made into lots of shapes and therefore objects that people use on a daily basis like bowls, plates, vases, kettles, tea cups, and much more. Necessities that also fill the house with charm.