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Features

        Koji pottery, a kind of low-fire polychromatic pottery, derives from green-glazed pottery in Han Dynasty. Low-fire pottery became popular on the influence of pottery trading activities during Qing Dynasty. The ceramic glaze has turned polychromatic from the traditional uni-, tri-, or penta-chromatic ones with the strong effects of how people in Jingdezhen colored, colored glass and Fa-hua-cai pottery from Shanxi, especially Faience from the Western.

        The fundamental colors for Koji pottery include: white, deep yellow, light yellow, dark green, marine green, sapphire, purple, carmine, black, and transparent. Over a hundred colors can be made through these fundamental colors. The Chinese have been always pursuing crystal bright ceramic glazes as jade since the ancient era, let alone Koji pottery. They have to make the glaze look like amber, green as jasper or emerald, blue as sapphire, purple as amethyst, and rouge-like red. The vibrant colors gain Koji pottery the title of “Jewelry Glaze”.

        The color of the clay is delicate and the pottery is made through sculpturing with some small tools. The technique “Lion Curled Hair”, handled by masters’ hands, is the most representative feature.

Theme

        There are varieties of Koji pottery works. The modern pottery artists create pottery works on themes different from the traditional temple style. They now tend to adapt various backgrounds and stories. Nowadays, the works are created individually and convey the fable of peace with delightful designs. Therefore, Koji pottery works are now perfect for people to collect.

Architectures and Applications

        As decorations for traditional architectures, Koji pottery combines the spirits of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, and the unity of heaven and man. The concept emphasizes punishment to the evil and preachment for the virtue. “Decoration is to produce your spirit and the products of your ideology.” said Li Ze-hou, an aesthete. The cultural meanings and concepts of the tradition like this are the essential origin of the architectural decorations.

        The art Koji pottery presents is not only on architectural decorations, but on the thoughts expressed through literature, paintings, ceramics, pottery, folklores, or religious philosophy. It perfectly shows territoriality and the diverse nationality. Koji pottery works reflect and interpret the traditional spirits and blessings.

        In the past, Koji pottery works used to be made in an outdoor kiln with low fire and was easily eroded. The ones built outdoors needed repairing once a decade due to the weathering. Being broken and stolen due to the antique collecting trend, Koji pottery works created by experienced masters are now rare to be discovered or conserved.

        Temples play the role of believing and blessing. As a result, Koji pottery works installed on them are always created based on aesthetics and the actual meanings contained. The themes are usually about play characters, animals and utensils with plants.