NUS Museum Exhibitions
From the Ashes
Reviving Myanmar Celadon Ceramics
9 February - 30 December 2017
Archaeology Library, NUS Museum
From the Ashes: Reviving Myanmar Celadon Ceramics introduces the ash glazed wares produced by Myanmar potters in the 15th century and the current attempts to revive and develop this tradition. Archaeological investigations in Lower Myanmar in the 1990s revealed historical kiln complexes specialised in making greenware (celadon). Identical wares uncovered on 15th century shipwrecks in Southeast Asian waters and at land sites in the Persian Gulf suggest that Myanmar celadon was commercially distributed.
These discoveries have prompted the Myanmar Ceramic Society to introduce the technique of ash glazing to invigorate the contemporary pottery industry for which unglazed earthenware is the primary product. The current experiments include a compound known as borax to lower the melting point of the glaze, resulting in ash glaze pottery which can be fired at a lower temperature. The new wares are named 'celabon', derived from 'celadon', which inspired the development, and 'borax'.
[Image: Detail of Head of a high ranking official, greenware, 8.2 x 4.9 x 5.2 cm. Collection of Myanmar Ceramic Society]