Red Earth is a line of rustic pottery from an ancient kiln in Central China. The kilns were abandoned when we discovered them. They are a place of incredible decayed beauty. There are four snake kilns there built into the hillside but they had been unused for years. Their stones and bricks blackened by time and covered by lichen. Native plants sprout everywhere between the stone blocks of old buildings and in the floors. Chickens peck in the dirt and bullocks forage near ponds while the local folk go about their routines of work and leisure.
We hired some of the old potters there to re kindle the line. We are using one of the old kilns while the other two are being restored by our brother Yeo Siam Aw (the fourth is in too dangerous a condition). The old potters are happy to have their skills put to use.
There are many kilns in this province but the one we work with has been the most progressive in its approach to business. These kilns are famous for their Ox Blood Red and Jade Green glazes. Now, new glazes are being developed, the most popular are the Falling Turquoise and Lava Red. Not only do they offer the best designs and glazes but they also offer the highest level of quality control.
The lustrous glazes from this line are inimitable and are a closely guarded secret of the master potter. The Speckled Green glaze is the prized production of this kiln. It is only produced in one kiln, and even then, only in one part of the kiln where the temperature and oxygen levels create the unique crystalline mottling pattern in the lime green glaze. There is simply not enough of this pottery to go around and the manufacturer rations out the production to a select few importers.
Copper Gold, a rich bronze glaze and Copper Red, a tantalizing molten metal surface are also produced in the same kilns. New and immediately popular is Metallic Black whose high luster and spangles of metallic glaze are both elegant and enchanting. New also is Glacier White with spangles of blue and gold in an iridescent cream glaze.
These magnificent metropolitan containers are used in modern homes and commercial installations. Light weight and much stronger than fiber glass, this composite material is made of stone particles reinforced with fiber/resin. Dark matte gray will weather to a light grey. An occasional coating of petroleum jelly is one way to return the color to dark grey.