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Chai Shao - 柴烧

Chai Shao (柴烧), or wood firing, is an ancient firing method, with wood being the primary fuel for the kiln. In ancient China, during wood firing, greenware was covered to avoid direct contact with ashes and flames, ensuring a smooth, glossy and uniform glaze appearance. Any trace of ash on the glaze or any sign of firing on the finished pieces was not appreciated in traditional Chinese ceramic standards and was considered as "flaws". Nowadays, with highly developed firing techniques, a modern ceramic art concept, differing significantly from the traditional wood firing aesthetics, has emerged. This contemporary Chai Shao approach seeks a natural fusion of wood ash and clay; greenware is no longer covered in the kiln, allowing the ashes and flames to directly touch the ceramics, symbolizing an acceptance and appreciation of the "flaws". Under high temperature, the melted ash generates a natural glaze and, together with the unmelted ash, forms smooth or rough textures on the surface, resulting randomly in a variety of colors. The modern Chai Shao method produces unique and unpredictable results, in which a quaint and unpretending beauty naturally emerges.

 

While modern Chai Shao ceramics are becoming trendy, various simulated wood-firing techniques, known as Fang Chai Shao, have also emerged. Fang Chai Shao is not simply a fake version of Chai Shao; it replicates the aesthetics of wood-fired pieces in an electric or gas kiln using a series of modern techniques and improves production yield, which is much lower in a wood-firing kiln. This results in artistic pieces at affordable prices.

 

Both the Chai Shao and Fang Chai Shao collections are included on this page and clearly labeled.

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