What is JianZhan Tenmoku?
Jianzhan is a kind of black glazed tea bowl with a distinctive shape and elegant appearance. It is an ancient Chinese porcelain tea ware originating from Jianyang, Fujian province. The bowl is delicate and exquisite, the cup mouth is wide and flat, and the entire body is symmetrical. Its glaze color is dark brown to black. The glaze has a shiny luster and its surface has very fine crackle lines. It is known as "Tenmoku" in the West. The bottom of the bowl is rough and uneven, like floating clouds and rushing water. In the middle of the bottom, there are often traces of burning or firing.
Jianzhan can be divided into three types according to its craftsmanship: Ruyao (glaze bowls), Jinyao (high-temperature glaze bowls) and Sumiyao (ultra-high-temperature glaze bowls). Ruyao was fired at 1100 degrees Celsius, Jinyao was fired at 1250 degrees Celsius, Sumiyao was fired at 1300 degrees Celsius, reaching about 200 degrees higher than normal porcel.
What's the history of JianZhan Tenmoku?
The kilns were initially set up during the Song Dynasty, and production continued for about 300 years until its demise in the early Ming Dynasty. It is one of the five famous wares of the Song Dynasty together with Ding ware, Longquan celadon, Jun ware and Ru ware. The bowl made of jianzhan are usually round, tall and thin. Sometimes they are called "horse hoof" or "iron plate". They have been made since Song dynasty. Some works are named "iron plate" or "iron basin", which reflects its hardness and durability. As time went on, the shape changed to that of an "iron bottle" - a long neck at one end and a short flat bottom at the other. During the Ming dynasty, tea became increasingly popular. Tea drinking then resembled today's tea ceremony and wares associated with this developed accordingly. In contrast to earlier times, when few people drank it (due to its high costs), tea was now available to a wide range of society.