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The Nanfeng Ancient Kiln Resort in the Shiwan Town is spread over an area of over 250 hectares. It is located in a town which is considered to be the capital of South China for earthenware and has been manufacturing ceramics for more than 5000 years.
The resort combines shopping, participation, discussions, skill learning, production and sightseeing. It consists of three areas: the Green Boat Peacock Garden, Pottery Sculpture Park and the ancient kiln.
Things to Do
Nanfeng Ancient Kiln Resort is believed to be the location where Foshan’s pottery art had originated. The kiln is located in the Chancheng District in Shiwan Town. Since it is the oldest kiln in the country, it’s history goes back to Ming Dynasty. The kiln continues to operate even today. Visitors can have a fascinating experience of seeing how pottery is created and even learn how to make pottery of their own at the location.
Based on various historical documents, Shiwan had become the base for ceramics in the Song and Tang Dynasties. During the Qing and Ming Dynasties, the pottery from the town earned national flame. Dragon Kiln had played a very major role in the pottery art. Such kilns are always built against hills and it winds its way along this slope, looking like a large dragon. Today, Nanfeng Ancient Kiln Resort is the oldest kiln among the existing 3 Dragon kilns in the country. The kiln had been created during Emperor Zhengde’s rule and has witnessed various advanced techniques.
Live Cultural Relic
Nanfeng Ancient Kiln Resort is very well preserved even though it still continues to produce pottery. It is considered to be a very rare live cultural relic. The Nanfeng Ancient Kiln’s mouth faces towards South. At the end of this kiln are large banyan trees that provide excellent shade. There is always cool breeze flowing during the summers because of which the kiln got its name of Nanfeng, meaning south wind. Even thought the land is quite infertile and the temperatures are quite high, the banyan tree here has managed to survive for over 400 years.
It is very fascinating to watch how pottery is made at the kiln. Timbers are placed inside the kiln and when they burn they look like firedrakes falling from the skies. The temperature can be quite high at 2,372 F. Traditional techniques of pottery making exist even today at Nanfeng Ancient Kiln Resort. Skilled workmen practice temperature control based on their experience rather than using modern apparatus. Every pottery piece that they make is unique though they all come from the same kiln at the same time. Since it is a wood burning kiln, the temperature is always unstable and it brings a wide variety in products. Many of them are precious and rare.
Pottery Making Lessons
At Nanfeng Ancient Kiln Resort visitors also have the opportunity to make pottery of their own with the help of the professional workers. Tourists can select their desired design, types and distinctive patterns and make something on their own. Shiwan Town’s pottery is also a great souvenir. The kiln has earned a place in Guinness Book of World Records for producing earthenware for over 500 years and is considered to be a living cultural relic.