Pottery center showcases ancient skills

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A 3,000-year-old kiln in Jingdezhen, China's ceramic capital, has been fired up again, in the country's latest attempt to bring historic culture to the general public.

A 3,000-year-old kiln in Jingdezhen, China's ceramic capital, is fired up again on June 14, 2014. [Photo/Chinanews.com]


On Saturday, China's ninth Cultural Heritage Day, sightseers were invited to witness and even participate in porcelain making using the antique facility in the eastern Jiangxi Province.

"I was so excited by the workshop. It immersed me in history," said Li Shanwei, a tourist from Shenzhen in southern China.

Cultural Heritage Day was established by the Chinese government to raise public awareness and make the vast Chinese collection of cultural artifacts more accessible to casual viewers. Jingdezhen is trying to keep alive the craftsmanship that has sustained it for centuries by combining tourism and production.

The city has also started construction of an industrial park, dubbed "Mingfanyuan," which will showcase the skills of porcelain producers and allow them to run workshops teaching their crafts.

To pass cultural practices down through generations and ensure their survival, it is important to find ways to integrate them into modern life, said Liu Qingzhu, former director of the Institute of Archaeology under the China Academy of Social Sciences.

Jingdezhen is doing just that. At local scenic spot Jindezhen Ancient Kiln, kilns from the Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties are preserved or replicated.

Every year since 2006, one or two of the kilns have been refired to produce porcelain goods and provide displays for visitors.

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