Art Tea Cup blog post The Making Process of Tenmoku

The Making Process of Tenmoku

The making process of JianZhan / Tenmoku is extremely complicated. There are 13 different steps from clay selection to finish. Every step requires a skilled & experienced craftsman. Let Art Tea Cup explain to you.
1. Clay selection
Jian Zhan's glaze and clay must contain high levels of iron. Jian Zhan was imitated by other kilns during the Song Dynasty, but the minerals they had were unable to meet Jian Zhan's standards.

2. Crushing
Pulverizing the clay and glaze in a machine.

3. Washing and sieve
It is recommended that the glaze or clay be moderately thick. The clay must be placed in the slurry tank after sieving, while the glaze must be placed in the glaze pool.

4. Chen Fu
Clay is placed in a room away from sunlight and air, kept at a certain temperature and humidity, and stored.

5. Knead the clay
The goal is to remove air and impurities from the clay, making the mud dense, uniformly humid, and easier to form. In addition, it prevents the clay from drying and cracking during the post-production process.

6. Shaping
Shaping is usually divided into hand shaping and machine shaping.

7. Modification
Traditionally, Jian Zhan has a shallow circle foot, and the "inner ring" of the foot needs to be modified with a knife.

8. Kiln the unglazed Jian Zhan
This process increases the mechanical strength of the clay and, at the same time, removes a portion of the fragile and cracked Jian Zhan.

9. Blend glaze
Natural iron ore glaze and plant ash are the ingredients in the ancient method's glaze formula. When combined, they produce an incredibly beautiful glaze. The secret of making Jian Zhan is using the simplest materials to create the most mysterious crystals.

10. Glazed
Jian Zhan's work is characterized by its half-glazed appearance. Ancient people created a glaze line to facilitate control of the glaze range. Glazing must also be performed with skill and precision to be moderate. If the glaze is too thin, there is not enough room for crystal growth; if it is too thick, the glaze may stick to the bottom.

11. Put into the kiln
To avoid stickiness, a layer of alumina powder is frequently applied to the bottom.

12. Kiln and fire Jian Zhan
The kiln is the most significant part of the Jian Zhan production process. The required glaze color will not be achieved if the time, degree, and frequency of reduction are not effectively mastered. After placing the piece in the kiln, the master must focus on managing the degree of reduction and not leaving it for an extended period.

13. Finishing kiln
Due to numerous constraints in the manufacturing process, each kiln will invariably create defective goods, which must be discarded on-site. It is possible to sell products that have passed the quality inspection.

Art Tea Cup blog post The Making Process of Tenmoku

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