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Shiwan ware

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Shiwan ware (Chinese: 石灣窯; pinyin: Shíwān yáo; Cantonese Jyutping: Sek6 waan1 jiu4) is Chinese pottery from kilns located in the Shiwanzhen Subdistrict of the provincial city of Foshan, near Guangzhou, Guangdong. It forms part of a larger group of wares from the coastal region known collectively as "Canton stonewares".[1] The hilly, wooded, area provided slopes for dragon kilns to run up, and fuel for them,[2] and was near major ports.

Bowl with Jun-style glaze, 19th century

The area has been producing pottery since the Neolithic, and over 100 kiln-sites have now been excavated, but large-scale production of a variety of wares began under the late Ming dynasty, and continues to the present.[3] The Nanfeng Kiln has been in operation for some 500 years, and is now a popular tourist attraction.[4] Shiwan wares have been in a variety of styles, many for utilitarian purposes. Mostly they are (in Western terms) stoneware. Three types of wares especially associated with Shiwan are roof tiles and architectural ornaments, and from the Qing dynasty onwards, imitations of Jun ware and popular polychrome figurines.