Essay about A Thorough Analysis Of Porcelain Must Be Done

Essay about A Thorough Analysis Of Porcelain Must Be Done

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Most American households have a set of fine dishes that are reserved for only the most special of occasions. Usually, these dishes are handed down from one generation to the next. If the majority of grandmothers in the United States are anything like mine, this means the dishes were never actually used for eating during your childhood. Instead, they were kept on permanent display inside a locked china cabinet in the dining room. There is also a good chance that the same individuals who own, but never use, these dishes also have a delicate-looking vase sitting on top of their fireplace mantle. Yet it never seems to house flowers, only dust. If these scenarios resonate, then this is a good indication that the dish or vase is what we refer to as ‘fine china,’ or more appropriately called ‘Chinese Porcelains.’ This paper will attempt to explain why we have these delicate items, yet never use them. In order to answer that however, a thorough analysis of porcelain must be done. This includes identifying the substance of porcelain, where it originated, when it originated, how it is made, the different techniques used in its creation, and the cultural roles it plays throughout the historical world.
According to Fred Kleiner, the Chinese civilization is “the only continuing civilization that originated in the ancient world” (pg. 47). The ancient Chinese did not squander this head start it possessed on the rest of the world towards a civilized society. Long before Christopher Columbus unknowingly set sail for islands off the coast of the North America mainland, the Chinese had long since developed and mastered new technologies unknown to the rest of the world. These technologies include such items as gunpowder, the mechanical ...


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...upper class were the only ones who commissioned porcelain ware, traders from the Silk Road began to desire these luxurious potteries. Taking them back to western European markets, and creating a new market focused on the wealthy. The extravagance only grew from there, as royalty and wealthy families began acquiring porcelain plates with beautifully painted oriental scenes (figure 4).
Although porcelain and the art placed upon them can be very beautiful, I do not believe the intention of porcelain pottery was to create an incredible piece of art. Porcelain can be made into any number of shapes. Why make dishes and water vases out of porcelain if they will never be used? I believe they symbolize a wealthy owner. What could possibly be another explanation for buying beautifully fragile dishware, which will never be used? Unfortunately, the trend continues today.

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