I’m chairing a session at this year’s Digital Heritage conference at the University of York–it should be really interesting! Here is the line-up:
Mhairi Maxwell – The ACCORD Project (Archaeology- Community Co-Design and Co-production of Research Data) Sara Perry – Cultivating democracy and good citizenship via digital visualisation in archaeology Carrie Heitman – Facilitating Communities of Collaboration: A Case Study from the American Southwest Gareth Beale – Digital Imaging, Heritage and Participation at Basing House Lorna Richardson – Digital Activism, Digital Volunteerism
The conference will be on July 12, 2014, for more details check out the event page:
It hangs there, throbbing heart of ceramic, wildfires under rippling aurora borealis. A rime-frosted pomegranate. A supernova in a jar.
Oxblood, sang de boeuf, lang yao hong, jihong, is the most magnificent and the most difficult of glazes. It is the red red red of heartbeats, misbehaves in kilns, sliding off the shoulders of the pot into a clotted puddle. You must apply it in great gouts of crimson so the copper will reduce and go red instead of green. It is assumed that this discovery was a happy accident, known as early as the Han dynasty (25-220 CE) and rediscovered during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), and perfected during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE). The technique was lost, rediscovered, and lost time and time again.
The folklore around this particular hue for ceramics is also thickly applied, with varied accounts of a Chinese emperor jailing potters for failing to produce the proper color, a potter so frustrated that he threw himself into the kiln, thus producing the elusive red, and a faithful potter’s daughter was so incensed at her father’s imprisonment that she stepped into the kiln, also with a red result.
In 1925, the British Museum received a gift from a “generous Hong Kong donor in the name of Keechong Hong.” This gift included a tall, slender vase, described as a “typical specimen, with faintly crackled glaze and red of cherry tint in the thinner parts, but darkening into oxblood where it has flowed thick on the shoulders and above the base.” This compares well with an earlier gift from Sir Augustus Wollaston Franks, and shows the celadon lip–the delicate, singular green yielding to the more furious red.
It’s this contrast between celadon and oxblood that modern potter Liu Jianhua plays with, the red finally filling the vessel, diving up and inside, like it belonged there all along.
So this, this a from a non-ceramicist–a partial, ragged run through the most elusive of colors, one that maddens, demands the most exquisite attention and craft, and is reborn over and over again.
The title of the post refers to My Name is Red, by Orhan Pamuk.