In China, a country known around the world for great art treasures, one of the best-known art materials is porcelain.
GV PAN Town of Kaopo in Kwangtung province, China
SV INTERIOR Machinery grinding and mixing clay
SV Porcelain clay being cut to useable pieces
SV Plate-making machinery moulding plates (2 shots)
SV Vases being hand-painted (5 shots)
CU Finished vases (2 shots)
CU ZOOM OUT Hand-painted goldfish bowl
SCU Plates and tea-sets -- the finished product
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Background: In China, a country known around the world for great art treasures, one of the best-known art materials is porcelain. The making of exquisite objects in porcelain isn't confined to the past... modern China keeps this segment of culture alive.
SYNOPSIS: This is the town of Kaopo, on the eastern edge of Kwangtung province. It's the centre of the porcelain making industry in the province, and has been for more than seven hundred years.
Porcelain was first made in China during the T'ang dynasty -- from 618 to 907 A.D. In the Yuan dynasty of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, it developed to the more sophisticated form we know today. It's made from a china-stone ground to a powder and mixed with Kaolin, a special China clay. The entire process -- from raw clay to firing the final object -- used be done by hand. Now, some of the heavier work is done by machines.
Special human skills will always remain...such as the superbly-detailed paintings that are a distinctive part of Chinese porcelain. The designs remain traditional, and the vivid colours are an integral part of what's known as Kaopo porcelain.
These articles, which are also known as southern China's white jade, are made in more than a thousand varieties. It is white, fine-grained, and usually translucent. European efforts to copy this Chinese porcelain haven't been all-that-successful, resulting in a soft-paste imitation. Kaopo tableware products -- dinner sets, tea sets, coffee sets -- are exported and sold in more than fifty countries around the world. A craft from the distant past protects the future.