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Clay culture finds new life

By ZHANG YU in Shijiazhuang | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-23 07:35

Wang Shaohong works on a black pottery piece in his workshop. GUO JIANGPENG/FOR CHINA DAILY

According to Wang Hongbao, thanks to innovation, more than 1,000 different kinds of pottery are now made in Guantao, involving different techniques such as hollowing out, embossing, lacquering, painting and inlay.

The items are sold domestically and abroad, including in Southeast Asia and Europe, Wang added.

"The innovation in pottery making and combining it with other techniques such as lacquering shines new light on the art, offering a blend of both history and modernity," said Yin Junting, a senior representative of Guantao pottery inheritors.

The 66-year-old craftsman is the only person in China to have been named a national master of Chinese arts in the field of black pottery.

One of his most important achievements was perfecting the combination of black pottery with lacquering, which gave the pieces new colors.

He began learning how to make black pottery in 1985.

"At first, I just tried it out. Afterward, the more pottery I made, the more I appreciated its culture, which made me more interested in it," Yin said.

To introduce the pottery to more people, Yin has offered classes to pass on his skills.

He also set up a company that not only produces pottery, but also provides a tourist experience.

"This way, more people get to know and appreciate pottery culture," he said.

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