Years ago, when I entered in this new and unknown sector, I encountered lots and lots of frustrations.

An unknown territory opened up in front of me.

On my visits to the depth of porcelain craftsmanship region, I encountered many new faces, players, and artists.

ming dynasty tea cup

When I found the source of where it all began, it became even more interesting.

Some artists I visited were sitting in tiny makeshift structures, crafting beauty out of Kaolin like nothing.

Blue dragon vase porcelain vase

How difficult their craft is to master became apparent to at my own trials to form something out of clay, or white kaolin.

It was impossible to keep thickness, shape, left alone to paint items that were burnt in the kiln.

It was to change my life forever. In the course of years, I became acquainted with many artists and individuals which became my friends.

kitten on a tree on porcelain

They all had something in common: They grew up together, went to school together.

So it was no surprise that my friends showed me some of the greatest of artists which were their schoolmates.

Altogether I was in an artist paradise. The friendship that formed in these close circles is as solid as the porcelain they produce.

floral design porcelain vase

Coming out of the kiln, controlled by experienced kiln-masters, just as a thousand years ago, they have lasted a lifetime.

What I noticed during the many years is, these special artists are producing the finest works of art, and they do it as if it was a laborers job.

I have seen hand-pulled carts giving way and beautiful pieces of 2 m in length crashing down into thousand pieces, and I have seen a man pulling a hand truck being smashed on his back with a hard bamboo stool, the latter breaking into a hundred pieces.

All this – and more – I have seen whilst buying art, and whilst collecting it.

And I have seen marriages break up, and ancient art being sold to me as a result of the breakup.

People who buy our art have little clue of the exact origin or the story behind the particular object.

The transport of an item would be enough to tell a whole story: it starts with a 1000 miles by truck from the place of origin to the shipping container, then carries on 10000 miles over the oceans, until cleared through customs and stored in the warehouse.

When customers see those pieces they have no idea where they are from, or who has created the masterpiece.

That is left to me alone, my secret, and my experience gained through many years.

The buyer can only see the immense beauty of the particular item, and then complain about the price, without having the slightest idea about the history behind it.

I know all of it, and I will still love the works art, as I did the first day, sitting with the artists in winter and ice-cold temperatures, warmed up only by a charcoal lit pan placed under their stool.

When I say art is us, I have the artist in mind, the remoteness of the location, the freeze, the transport, the loading, the shipment, the clearing, until it reaches the final destination.

One day I shall not be able to visit these sanctuaries of beauty anymore. And no-one will be following my way of collecting art. It may be too cumbersome for many.

google contributor photos africasiaeuro



Heinz Rainer :Textile consultant activities over 30 years, lives in Africa, Europe and Asia. Bahrain and Austria based. main https://africasiaeuro.com