Guan Kiln Site

Southern Song Imperial Kiln Museum, Hangzhou

Porcelain was invented, developed, and manufactured at various kilns in Zhejiang Province beginning in the Eastern Han dynasty. In particular, the Guan Kiln produced celadon porcelain for the Imperial court, 800 years ago when Hangzhou was the Southern Song capital. The kiln was excavated in 1985, and a museum was built on the site in 1992. The museum displays ceramic vessels produced here and at other kilns in Zhejiang.

Seen here is the partially-restored manufacturing workshop. It had separate stations for (1) levigation ("pugging"), a small pond where the clay was mixed to a predetermined fineness; (2) shaping, where the pot was formed on a wheel; (3) glazing, and (4) a small furnace for firing the glaze. The kiln itself is up the stairs to the right (later page).