Episode 13: Jingdezhen Ceramics and Sponge Cities

WildChina > Podcast > Episode 13: Jingdezhen Ceramics and Sponge Cities

For our thirteenth episode we head to Jingdezhen in Jiangxi province where ceramics artist and expert Caroline Cheng is joining us from her workshop. Outside an ongoing street-side porcelain fair is in the works. During the episode we hear about the fair, Caroline’s project Prosperity, and also recycling ceramic waste into sponge cities, her new venture called Regeneration Tree.    

Known as the “Porcelain City”, Jingdezhen was the designated source for all porcelain goods in the Imperial household for over 900 years. It has a history of porcelain making dating back near two millennia. The majority of the world’s fine Chinese ceramics dating from that time can be traced to Jingdezhen’s workshops. Though it doesn’t at first glance look like a “porcelain city,” and the ancient wood-fired kilns and manual wheels have been replaced with more modern appliances, Jingdezhen nonetheless remains a major source of ceramic goods found around the world. 

Listen to Episode 13:

Episode Overview:
  • 03:12 – Jingdezhen ceramics street fair 
  • 10:54 – History of Jingdezhen and ceramics 
  • 18:48 – Caroline’s project Prosperity
  • 22:00 – Caroline’s road to ceramics in Jingdezhen 
  • 25:10 – Regeneration Tree 
  • 28:30 – Sponge cities 
  • 30:01 – Caroline’s Jingdezhen travel recommendations 

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Places, resources and tips mentioned in the podcast:

Caroline Cheng

Prosperity

Information on The Pottery Workshop 

More information on Regeneration Tree and sponge cities 

Caroline’s Jingdezhen travel recommendations 

  • Laoyatan (老鸦滩) – tile making area 
  • Fanjiajing (樊家井) – area where they make replicas of ancient ceramics 
  • Gaoling (高岭) – where porcelain came from 
  • Sanbao (三宝) is a good local area for accommodation 
  • Taoqichuan (陶溪川) is the more built-up area with higher levels of accommodation 
  • The Jingdezhen ceramics street fair 
  • Pottery Workshop courses 

Follow the below WeChat accounts for the latest updates on Caroline’s events:

  • The Pottery Workshop WeChat ID: Chinaceramics
  • Yi Design Group WeChat ID: gh_ea64d1881cba
Prosperity (photo courtesy of Caroline Cheng)
Regeneration Tree’s tiles made from recycled ceramic waste (photo courtesy of Caroline Cheng)
Ceramic waste pile (photo courtesy of Yi Design Group)