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Home > Resources for Educators > Professional Development > Lecture Series > Experiencing Jingdezhen

Experiencing Jingdezhen: The Porcelain City of China

Double throwers work on a large pieceOn October 22, 2009 Professor Gary Erickson presented a 45–minute narrated video about his residency in China and demonstrated porcelain techniques learned in Jingdezhen.

Professor Erickson has traveled to China six times over the past five years, creating sculptural work while in residency at the Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute outside Jingdezhen. Additionally, Mr. Erickson has been shooting video in order to document and preserve the thousand-year-old porcelain techniques being used in Jingdezhen.

Some of the techniques used in Jingdezhen that will be showcased in the video and discussed during the lecture include double throwers using over 400 pounds of clay, egg-shell thin bowl making, ¼” tiles over six feet long, qinghua 青花– blue on white underglaze decoration on vases 15 feel tall, and water-powered hammer mills for crushing chinastone feldspar.

Gary Erickson received his B.F.A. from Hamline University, St. Paul, MN and his M.F.A. from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in Alfred, NY. His organic abstract ceramic sculptures are in many private and public collections, including the National Museum of American Art/Smithsonian Institutions Renwick Gallery in Washington D.C., Cuban Institute of Friendship with the People in Santiago de Cuba, Jingdezhen Sanbao Ceramic Art Institute in Jingdezhen, China and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN. He has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, McKnight Foundation, Jerome Foundation and the Minnesota State Arts Board. Recent career-related travel experience has taken him to Jingdezhen China and Santiago de Cuba for art-making and cultural exchange residencies. He is also known for his tile work and functional pottery. Gary is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Art-Ceramics at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN and works from his Minneapolis studio.