A Brief History of Chinese Porcelain Production

This section deals with the development of chinese porcelain and does not cover pottery. The Chinese term for porcelain (Chinese: , c) refers to high-fired ceramics of at least 1200 degree centigrade, with vitrified and glazed body.  It needs not be translucence as often regarded as an essential feature in the western definition.

The term porcelain " first appeared in the the Jin period dictionary zi lin (forest of Ideogram).  Porcelain in South China is made from igneous rocky material  (ʯthat were originally molten rock with quartz and mica contents.  Northern porcelain is made from clay material rich in alumina and low in mica content.

A chart depicting the various major porcelain types available at each phase of Chinese history is also available.

To view the brief description of the porcelain available in each phase of Chinese history, please click the period on the left.

(Please note that some of the words have the chinese characters also included.  If you cannot read them properly, go to "view" and select "encoding" and finally select "chinese simplified GB2312" as the language.)