Jianzhan - Yang Min's Science and Art

During the Song Dynasty, the trend of tea competitions popularized the Jianyang black glazed tea bowl, a type of tea ware designed specifically for tea. Due to the six-hundred-year gap in firing techniques, many craftsmen in Jianyang have carried out beneficial exploration and research in terms of inheritance and innovation, and have summarized scientific firing methods. Yang Min, a craftsman, is one such dedicated individual.

The Jianzhan is an art that combines the high difficulty of earth and fire. Masters who make Jianzhan are commonly known as "people who play with mud". Almost all Jianzhan craftsmen have rough hands, but the elegant and cultured craftsman Yang Min has a pair of soft and delicate hands that can manipulate clay with incredible skill. His large splatter oil drip and partridge spot series of Jianzhan are highly popular in the market. His works have also won the gold medal in the excellent works competition of the 11th China Putian Cross-Strait Crafts Fair.

Although it was a cross-disciplinary learning experience, Yang Min was deeply committed to it, working diligently and thinking hard, with the goal of creating high-quality pieces. As a graduate of the Environmental and Soil Department at Lin School in Nanping City, he has unique insights into soil selection and glaze formulation, which he has applied in his scientific firing process.

Each glaze and clay formulation requires time to verify, and completing a kiln firing often takes more than 10 hours. Yang Min often wakes up early and stays in the workshop all day, conducting experiments and constantly trying to develop new varieties by himself.

During the Song Dynasty, Jianzhan was fired in an upright position, and it was difficult to achieve precise temperature control in the dragon kiln, which often resulted in glaze flow. Therefore, partial glaze was commonly used. In exchanges with peers, Yang Min drew analogies and had a particular interest in researching "full glaze" Jianzhan.

It is precisely this half-control method that allows Yang Min to precisely control the flow of glaze and innovatively fire beautiful full-glazed Jianzhan. In order to create more aesthetically pleasing works of art, he never stops innovating. From small oil drips to large oil drips, and then to super large drips, from traditional patterns to old and new, from oil drips on the body to flower patterns on the pure bottom, and then to full glaze and complete vitrification, he continues to break new ground in his experiments.

Through continuous experimentation and experience, Yang Min gradually made breakthroughs. Today, Yang Min, who focuses on high-end works, has also selected several disciples to teach them firing techniques and often discusses firing techniques with peers. In a conversation with a friend, a joking remark sparked Yang Min's thinking.

A joking remark led Yang Min to think about how to control the flow of glaze through reverse thinking. After many attempts, he fired Jianzhan works with only bottom patterns. Today, his works are characterized by large and uniform oil drips, high degree of vitrification, full glaze, flower patterns on the bottom, and more. Yang Min believes that the inheritance of Jianzhan culture should be understood through more scientific methods, in order to make it more exquisite and of higher artistic value.

Craftsman Yang Min has devoted himself to his art career, constantly exploring and accumulating practical experience through scientific theory. He inherits traditional art and innovates on its basis, creating works that are unique in style and form his own rustic and fresh artistic style.


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