Jingdezhen (aka Ching-teh-chen) or Jingde Town was once China's porcelain metropolis. It has its name from the Song emperor Jingde. During the Ming and Qing dynasties it was the seat of the imperial kiln. Located in the north of Jiangxi province, JDZ has a porcelain producing history of more than a thousand years.
Archaeological research has discovered on location a mark "大和五年" (5th year of Dahe), placing its earliest verifiable production time to the Five Dynasties period (907-960), the period immediately preceding the Song dynasty. At that time Jingde kilns were already firing celadon and white porcelain, with the celadons copying the style of Yue kiln. Later, the area started producing "qingbai" porcelain. That is predominantly white porcelain with a tint of celadon green in recesses, where the accumulated glaze is thick.
During the Yuan dynasty the first blue and
white porcelain (underglaze blue) and underglaze red porcelain was also
During the Five Dynasties period the porcelain was mainly fired with the help of spur supports (zhiding). These are unglazed, protruding small support points located either on the bottom of an item or inside a bowl or plate. They allow to stack these to save space during firing. At the same time they make it possible that most of the surface, including the foot or underside can be completely covered by glaze, without sticking.
This place was at the time just one of several porcelain production
areas in China, with a number of kilns in the vicinity. In the Song
dynasty it was one of the eight great kiln systems. During the Yuan dynasty it became more important as the Mongol ruling class
preferred the blue and white color of the porcelain produced there. Then, in the
Ming dynasty it finally was designated as the location of the imperial kiln, which it
remained until the end of the Qing dynasty.