Making a Cizhou Vessel

During the Song and Yuan Dynasties several kilns in Northern China produced Cizhou wares of this type in a variety of shapes with underglaze decoration. The museum's globular jar tapers to a flat base and, like others of the type, is covered by a white slip and transparent glaze. The vessel would have been thrown on a potter's wheel first and then dipped into the white slip. Once the slip had dried, the floral and fan-shaped leaf patterns were deftly painted in black iron pigment in swift sure strokes. Finally, the vessel would have been dipped again in a transparent glaze and fired.